About Bishop's Flower: Sometimes mistaken for Queen Anne's Lace, this lovely annual look-alike grows somewhat larger with neater, more delicate growth. Commercial producers of cut flowers appreciate these blooms for their long-lasting beauty both in fresh and dried arrangements. Bishop's Flower originates in the Mediterranean region, giving it an excellent resistance to heat and drought conditions. The seed, which tastes similar to thyme, makes a popular spice in Indian cuisine. Around 2000 BC, Egyptian herbalists began using this plant to treat skin diseases such as leukoderma, vitiligo, and psoriasis; the seed was prescribed for heart conditions.
Bishop's Flower Germination: This flower is most healthy and productive when planted in late fall, allowing it to become established and deeply rooted by spring. The seed can also be sown in early spring, as soon as the soil reaches a temperature of 60-65 degrees F. Because it does not transplant well, it should be direct sown. Plant the seeds just below the surface in full sun or partial shade. Germination should take place within 14-20 days. Thin seedlings to 12-15" apart to allow for growth.This plant adapts well to most types of soil, though it prefers rich and well drained soil. For cut flowers throughout the summer, plant new seed at intervals of 4 weeks until the heat of mid summer.
Growing Bishop's Flower Seeds: Water seedlings regularly, but do not water mature plants often unless drought conditions persist. If planted in an open, windy area, the stems of this plant may need support. This plant readily reseeds itself if left alone, but does not become invasive and volunteer plants can be easily removed. If new plants are not wanted, deadhead the faded flowers. These flowers attract many butterflies as well as bees and other beneficial insects.
Harvesting Bishop's Flower: The delicate white clusters of this flower are highly popular for both cut and dried flowers; the flowers last up to 10 days when fresh cut, and keep their color well when dried. Cut the stems in the morning when the flowers have almost opened completely; the flowers should have only a slightly green shade when cut. For dried flowers, hang the stems upside down in a cool, dark place. Complete darkness is necessary to preserve the whiteness of the flowers. The sap that oozes from the stems may cause skin irritation, and should be removed with soap and water as soon as possible.
Saving Bishop's Flower Seeds: Since the seed heads of this plant attract flocks of songbirds, the maturing seed heads may need to be bagged or protected with netting to prevent loss. Remove the heads when they have begun to dry, and spread them out to finish drying away from direct sunlight. Thresh them to separate the seed from the stems. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Bishop's Flower Info: Origin: North Africa, Eurasia Other Common Names: Bishop's Lace, Laceflower, False Queen Anne’s Lace, White Dill Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Summer-Early Fall Height: 24-36 inches Spacing: 12-15 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Medium to Dry USDA Zone: 3a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 50,000 Produces domed 5-6" clusters of tiny white flowers, with feathery green foliage.