Nigella damascena (love-in-a-mist, ragged lady) is an annual garden flowering plant, belonging to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae.
It grows to 20–50 cm (8–20 in) tall, with pinnately divided, thread-like, alternate leaves.
The flowers, blooming in early summer, are most commonly different shades of blue, but can be white, pink, or pale purple, with 5 to 25 sepals. The actual petals are located at the base of the stamens and are minute and clawed. The sepals are the only colored part of the perianth. The four to five carpels of the compound pistil have each an erect style.
The fruit is a large and inflated capsule, growing from a compound ovary, and is composed of several united follicles, each containing numerous seeds. This is rather exceptional for a member of the buttercup family. The capsule becomes brown in late summer. The plant self-seeds, growing on the same spot year after year.