ANGELICA, a genus of plants of the natural order Umbelliferae, represented in Britain by one species, A. sylvestris, a tall perennial herb with large bipinnate leaves and large compound umbels of white or purple flowers. The name Angelica is popularly given to a plant of an allied genus, Archangelica officinalis, the tender shoots of which are used in making certain kinds of aromatic sweetmeats. Angelica balsam is obtained by extracting the roots with alcohol, evaporating and extracting the residue with ether. It is of a dark brown colour and contains angelica oil, angelica wax and angelicin, C18H30O. The essential oil of the roots of Angelica archangelica contains β-terebangelene, C10H16, and other terpenes; the oil of the seeds also contains β-terebangelene, together with methylethylacetic acid and hydroxymyristic acid.
The angelica tree is a member of the order Avaliaceae, a species of Aralia (A. spinosa), a native of North America; it grows 8 to 12 ft. high, has a simple prickle-bearing stem forming an umbrella-like head, and much divided leaves.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)