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ntroduced Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Devil-in-the-Bush, Love-in-a-mist
Botanical name: Nigella damascena    Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Devil in the Bush is an annual garden plant native to southern Europe, north Africa and southwest Asia. America. The plant's common name Love-in- a-mist comes from the flower being nestled in a ring of multiply cut lacy bracts. It's also sometimes called Devil-in-the-Bush. It grows to 20-50 cm tall, with pinnately divided, thread-like, alternate leaves. The flowers are most commonly different shades of blue, but can be white, pink, or pale purple, with 5-25 sepals. The actual petals are located at the base of the stamens and are minute and clawed. The sepals are the only colored part of the perianth. The 4-5 carpels of the compound pistil have each an erect style. The fruit is a large and inflated capsule, growing from a compound ovary, and is composed of several united follicles, each containing numerous seeds. This is rather exceptional for a member of the buttercup family. The capsule becomes brown in late summer. The plant self-seeds, growing on the same spot year after year. Devil-in-the-Bush are much used in dried flower bouquets. Flowering: February-May.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Delhi & Kashmir.

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