Latin name Nigella damascena is an annual member of the buttercup family. In its native range the plants grow as a wildflower along roadsides, in abandoned fields and in wastelands and rocky areas. The unique balloon-like inflorescence and brilliant blooms make this a favorite for the cut flower garden or landscape.



Native to the Mediterranean, it was popularized as a cottage garden favorite by legendary garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.


  • Ornamental
  • Beds, borders, containers, cottage garden, cut flower garden
  • Seed pods can be cut and used in dried or fresh arrangements
  • Visited by bees



  • Seeds germinate in 7-14 days.
  • Plants are best direct sown but can be started indoors ahead of time.
  • Sow indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost or direct seed after last chance of frost has passed.
  • Succession plant every 3 weeks throughout the summer for a longer season of blooms.
  • Surface sow seeds and cover with a thin layer of soil.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 60-65 F.


  • Plants prefer full sun.
  • They are not picky about soil fertility, as they naturally grow in poor soil, but it must be well drained.
  • Space plants 4-6 inches apart (the more space they have, the longer their bloom season will last!).
  • Keep plants deadheaded to encourage continued blooming.


  • Love In A Mist does not have any notable pest or disease problems.


  • Plants will reseed in the garden readily, but you can also save seed for next season.
  • Allow the flowerhead containing the seeds to completely mature and dry on the plant, then clip off the flowerhead and place in a container.
  • Working over the top of another clean, opened container, pop the flowerheads, breaking free the aromatic, small black seeds from their pods.
  • The small, blackish seeds can be separated from the chaff by first screening and then winnowing.
  • Allow seeds to dry down for 7 days and store over winter in a cool, dark, dry place.