Love In the Mist or Alien in a Fog? Nigella Flower

In a garden version of War of the Worlds, this is Hanna reporting to you live from her front porch.


Prepare for the end. Get the guns. Grab the kids and the container plants and report to the nearest fallout shelter for further instructions.

Oh… wait… That is just nigella or, as its close friends like to call it, love in the mist. Silly me, it reseeds itself every year, even more faithfully than the snapdragons and violas but not quiet as enthusiastically as cleome so it is never a bother.

Nigella is one of my favorite annuals and I am a little surprised that it gets left out of the same old, same old annual selections found at most nurseries. Then again, with its reseeding reliability, maybe most nurseries feel that it is a money pit since people will not return year after year to buy it.

Then again, maybe the fact that is does reseed so well makes it undesirable to the more fussy gardening types who like their annuals to stay firmly where they planted them waiting patiently to die come the frost. Wandering annuals may not have a place in most home gardens.

Or maybe just the nigella’s bizarre look is too much for some people. The seed pods go against a graceful aesthetic attitude that most people have for flowers in their garden. Nigella is kind of like that rebel kid in high school that no one was sure whether they were just way too cool or one step away from taking out the principal.

Whatever the reason, this annual gets woefully neglected. Kid love them. If you have kids, I really recommend growing them for the kids. Even if you don’t have kids, you can make your garden just a little edgier by letting these oddballs loose in your beds.

9 thoughts on “Love In the Mist or Alien in a Fog? Nigella Flower
  1. flowery tops on

    I have these in my garden too, and they come up every spring and flower like mad all summer, everywhere I don’t actually pull them out. I think the seed pods look like horrible hairy vegetable testicles, and my kids love pulling them apart and collecting the seeds.


  2. I just bought a seed packet of Nigella Chocolate Sundae at a big box garden center. I am anxious to try them!

    “I think the seed pods look like horrible hairy vegetable testicles…”

    LOL! When you think about it, all flowers are actually plant genitals. – maybe we shouldn’t think about it.


  3. Elaine on

    I just love these flowers. My grandmother gave my mom seeds and she gave me seeds the following year……and my daughter thinks these are the coolest flowers. Four generations of us enjoying them from all over. They are so easy to grow too.


    Mike B Reply:

    We live outside of Dallas, TX, do you know if this plant will survive here. We lost one of out pets Memorial Day (her name was Misty) and I was hoping to plant this plant as a landmark where she now rest. If the anwser the plant will survive here can you recommend a place where I could purchase the plant or seeds.

    Best regards,


    Hanna Reply:

    I think they would. You may be able tofind the seeds at a local plant nursery. Otherwise, they are pretty easy to find online.


  4. mike murdoch on

    good article
    but how and when does one get seeds and in what means does one collect them .
    ie :- in evelopes with seed pods turned upside down or what ?


  5. Hi, hello, bonjour, Since I was declared to be a Nigella in your little test, I wanted to know what kind of flower it was. I google it and came back on your blog on this post! Great! It really fits my character!!! I’ll put a link to this post on my own blog. Many thanks. f r a n k i e


  6. Amy in Woodstock on

    Hi, my sister collected some Nigella seedpods for me to start for her…I enjoy growing things from seed and usually have pretty good luck. What is the general germination time, do you think?



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