A biennial that flowers in its second growing season at a height in excess of two metres. The leaves are deeply divided, fresh green in colour. As flowering height is reached the upper leaves form a purple sheath around the flower bud. Forming a cupped shape on opening these act as a catchment vessel for rainwater.
Growing in deep moisture retentive soil in sun or partial shade Angelica gigas makes a stately architectural plant. The globose flower head can be 150mm across and are full of multiple florets. These purple florets are loved by pollinating insects becoming speckled with white as the anthers ripen.
Specimens can be seen in the copse where the gold keyhole of the Jim Lambie Secret Affair collection is placed as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival.