We need to raise £10,000 from user donations to get our finances in balance. More >>>

Follow Us:


Ligusticum scoticum - L.

Common Name Scottish Lovage, Scottish licorice-root, Hulten's licorice-root
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rocky coasts in northern Britain[17].
Range Northwestern Europe, including Britain, from Denmark to Norway.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Ligusticum scoticum Scottish Lovage, Scottish licorice-root, Hulten

Ligusticum scoticum Scottish Lovage, Scottish licorice-root, Hulten
Mary Clay Stensvold @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Ligusticum scoticum is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.



Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root;  Seed;  Stem.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Leaves, flowers and young shoots - raw or cooked[2, 4, 5, 100]. Strong and not very pleasant[115]. Superb in salads[172]. The leaves are usually blanched in order to make the flavour milder[61, 183], though this also reduces the nutritional value[K]. A celery-like flavour, it is used as a seasoning in salads, soups etc[183]. Another report says that the flavour is more like parsley[245]. Stem - used as a flavouring in soups, stews etc[5, 17]. A celery-like flavour[238]. The green stem is peeled and eaten[183]. Root - raw or cooked[2, 5, 161]. A sweet flavour[161]. Seed - ground into a powder and used as a flavouring in soups and stews[172, 238, 245]. A sharp, hot taste it is used in the same ways as pepper[245]. The young shoots and roots are occasionally candied like angelica[183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Aromatic;  Carminative;  Deodorant;  Stimulant.

The root is aromatic and carminative[4]. It is used in the treatment of hysterical and uterine disorders[4, 238]. The seeds are sweetly aromatic and have been used as a carminative, deodorant and stimulant[4, 172, 238]. They are also sometimes used for flavouring other herbal remedies[4].

Other Uses


None known

Cultivation details

Succeeds in any well-drained soil in a sunny position[1, 200]. Dislikes shade. Succeeds in dry soils[238]. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c[238]. Scottish lovage has occasionally been cultivated as a pot herb, though it has been largely supplanted by celery[1, 4, 17]. All parts of the plant are aromatic when bruised, the aroma being likened to a mixture of parsley, angelica and pear skin[245].


The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now


Seed - the seed only has a short period of viability and so is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in the autumn. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a greenhouse or cold frame[200]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer if they have grown large enough. Otherwise, keep them in a cold frame for the first winter and plant them out in early summer. Division of the rootstock in early spring. Make sure that each section of root has at least one growth bud. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Ligusticum brachylobum 02
Ligusticum canadenseCanadian Licorice Root21
Ligusticum filicinumFernleaf Licorice Root01
Ligusticum hulteniiHulten's Licorice Root20
Ligusticum jeholense 02
Ligusticum mutellinaMountain Lovage, Alpine lovage11
Ligusticum porteriPorter's Licorice Root13
Ligusticum sinenseChuang Xiong03
Ligusticum wallichiiChuan Xiong03


Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment



Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Ligusticum scoticum  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.