Spanish Love-in-a-Mist Nigella hispanica L.

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Spanish fennel flower


Nigella hispanica, commonly known as Spanish Love-in-a-Mist, is an ornamental plant with a distinctive appearance. It is characterized by its feathery, thread-like leaves that create a misty green backdrop for its flowers. The foliage tends to have a fine, lace-like texture, adding to its delicate visual appeal. The flowers of Spanish Love-in-a-Mist are what truly capture attention. Typically, the blooms are an intense blue to a pale pastel shade, depending on the variety. They possess a unique structure, with petals that are surrounded by a collar of additional foliage—reminiscent of a ruff worn in Elizabethan times. This gives the flowers a somewhat ethereal, cloud-like look that stands out against the airy foliage below. At the center of each flower, there are prominent stamens that add to the ornamental value, and following flowering, the plant forms interesting seed pods. These seed pods are balloon-like in shape, with a textured, veined surface that can add considerable interest to the garden even when the blooming period is over. In dried flower arrangements, these pods are often appreciated for their architectural quality and are sought after for their aesthetic longevity. Overall, Spanish Love-in-a-Mist has a whimsical charm, with blooms and foliage that work together to create a soft, romantic visual display in the garden setting.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Spanish Love-in-a-Mist, Spanish Nigella, Hispanic Fennel Flower.

    • Common names

      Nigella hispanica var. hispanica, Nigella hispanica var. intermedia, Melanthium hispanicum, Nigella intermedia.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Spanish nigella is generally considered non-toxic to humans. There is no significant evidence suggesting that the ingestion of Spanish nigella poses a risk of poisoning. However, like with many plants, it is possible that some individuals may experience allergic reactions or sensitivity. Ingesting plant parts in large quantities is generally not advised due to potential for stomach upset or other non-specific gastrointestinal complaints.

    • To pets

      Spanish nigella is not known to be toxic to pets. There is limited information available on its effects on animals but no widespread reports of toxicity in pets such as dogs or cats have been noted. It is still prudent to prevent pets from ingesting plants as individual animals may have unique sensitivities or allergies. If a pet ingests a large quantity of Spanish nigella and shows signs of illness, a veterinarian should be consulted.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-1.5 feet (30-45 cm)

    • Spread

      0.5-1 feet (15-30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Nigella hispanica, commonly known as Spanish Love-in-a-Mist, produces attractive, intricate flowers that add beauty to gardens and landscapes.
    • Culinary Uses: The seeds of Spanish Love-in-a-Mist can be used as a spice, offering a slightly peppery flavor similar to that of its relative, Nigella sativa.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The flowers provide nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinating insects, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Drought Tolerance: Spanish Love-in-a-Mist is known for its ability to withstand dry conditions, making it suitable for xeriscaping and arid climate gardening.
    • Easy to Cultivate: The plant is considered easy to grow from seed and can thrive in a variety of soil types, requiring minimal maintenance.
    • Self-Seeding: Nigella hispanica has the ability to self-seed, ensuring its presence in the garden year after year without the need for replanting.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Nigella hispanica may have components that help reduce inflammation in the body.
    • Antioxidant: It might contain compounds that combat oxidative stress and help protect cells from damage.
    • Antimicrobial: There could be substances in the plant that are effective against certain bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
    • Antispasmodic: This plant may offer relief from spasms and cramps in the muscles.
    • Immune system support: Constituents in Nigella hispanica might support and enhance the immune response.
    However, traditional use and scientific data regarding the medical attributes of Nigella hispanica specifically are limited and not well-documented, making any claims to its medical properties largely anecdotal or based on extrapolation from studies of similar species such as Nigella sativa. Always consult a healthcare provider before using any plant for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Spanish Love-in-a-Mist seeds can be used as a spice, much like its relative Nigella sativa; they have a slightly bitter, peppery flavor and can be added to breads and pastries.
    • The seed oil extracted from Spanish Love-in-a-Mist is sometimes used in cosmetics and soaps due to its moisturizing properties.
    • The plant's striking blue flowers make it a popular choice for ornamental use in gardens and as cut flowers for floral arrangements.
    • Dried seed pods of the Spanish Love-in-a-Mist are used in potpourri for their interesting shapes and ability to retain their form and color.
    • The flowers can be pressed and used in the art of flower pressing to create natural art pieces and decorative crafts.
    • In textile dyeing, the seeds of Spanish Love-in-a-Mist can be used to create a natural dye that imparts a golden-brown color to fabrics.
    • Artists may use the seed pods in still life painting for their interesting texture and unique appearance.
    • Seed pods can be incorporated into jewelry designs, especially in bohemian and naturalist-styled pieces.
    • Gardeners may use the plant to provide a natural support for climbing plants due to its sturdy stem structure.
    • Spanish Love-in-a-Mist can be included in educational activities to teach children about the life cycle of plants and the importance of pollinators.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Spanish Love-in-a-Mist is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Spanish Love-in-a-Mist is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Mystery: Love-in-a-mist, as the common name suggests, carries a sense of intrigue and enigma due to its delicate flowers shrouded in a web of bracts.
    • Protection: The plant's intricate foliage and mesh-like structure symbolize a natural shield, suggesting protection against negative influences.
    • Fertility: In traditional herbalism, it's seeds were sometimes associated with fertility and reproductive health.
    • Curiosity: The complex structure of the plant's flowers and seed pods stimulates curiosity and the desire to unravel mysteries.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Spring to early summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Spanish Love-in-a-Mist prefers consistent moisture, especially during its growing season. It should be watered once a week with about 1 gallon of water per plant, ensuring that the soil is kept evenly moist but not waterlogged. During hot and dry spells, frequency may need to increase to twice a week. Overhead watering is effective, but to reduce the risk of leaf diseases, water at the base of the plant early in the day so the foliage has time to dry.

  • sunLight

    Spanish Love-in-a-Mist thrives best in full sun to partial shade. It should be placed in a location where it receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Avoid overly shaded areas, as this can reduce flowering and lead to leggy growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Spanish Love-in-a-Mist is comfortable in a temperature range between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate temperatures as low as the mid-20s for short periods but may not survive temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit without protection. The ideal range for vigorous growth is generally between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Spanish Love-in-a-Mist should be pruned to remove spent flowers and encourage a second flush of blooms. Deadheading after the initial flowering can stimulate new growth. Pruning is typically done after the main bloom period in late spring or early summer.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Spanish Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella hispanica) prefers well-draining soil with high organic matter content. A mixture of loamy soil, compost, and perlite or sand will ensure proper drainage and fertility. The ideal soil pH for Spanish Love-in-a-Mist ranges from 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Spanish Love-in-a-Mist does not generally require frequent repotting as it is often grown as an annual. It's best to sow the seeds directly where they are to flower or transplant while young to avoid root disturbance.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Spanish Love-in-a-Mist is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels and does not have specific humidity requirements. Average room humidity should be suitable for this plant.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, well-draining soil, and occasional water.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in spring, full sun to partial shade, well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Nigella hispanica, commonly known as Spanish Love-in-a-Mist, begins its life cycle as a seed, typically sown on the surface of well-drained soil in early spring after the risk of frost has passed. Upon germination, the seedling develops its first set of true leaves and, as a fast-growing annual, quickly progresses to form a bushy plant adorned with feathery, finely divided foliage. Flower buds emerge following the vegetative stage, leading to distinctive blooms with five pale blue to white petals surrounded by a ruff of lacy bracts, usually appearing in late spring to early summer. After pollination, typically by bees and other insects attracted to the flower's nectar, the plant creates a unique capsule-like fruit composed of multiple follicles which contain the seeds. As the fruit matures and dries, it eventually splits open to release the seeds. The plant completes its life cycle when the seeds disperse, often self-sowing to give rise to new plants the following season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • Propogation: Nigella hispanica, commonly known as Spanish Love-in-a-Mist, is typically propagated through seeds. The best time to sow these seeds is in early spring, directly into the ground where they are to grow, as they do not transplant well. To propagate, scatter the seeds onto a well-prepared soil bed, covering them lightly with about a quarter inch (approximately 6 millimeters) of soil. Keep the soil moist until germination, which usually occurs within two to three weeks. Thin the seedlings if necessary to allow for adequate space for plants to develop properly. This method takes advantage of the plant's natural growing conditions and typically results in a healthy display of the plant’s characteristic feathery foliage and unique flowers.