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Family :


Umbelliferae (Previous Family name, now Folkname)

Subfamilies (As of 2012)
Mackinlayoideae (Plunkett & Lowry)
Azorelloideae (Plunkett & Lowry)
Saniculoideae (Burnett)
Apioideae (Seemann)


TYPE : annual, biennial, perennial herbs or woody shrubs.
WORLDWIDE NO. : 1,400 species in 180 Genera.
BRITISH NO. : 60 species in 43 Genera.
AROMA : often pungent or aromatic.
ROOTS : either tap root or fusiform, branched.
STEMS : stout. Furrowed, pith wide and soft or internodes hollow.
UMBELS : usually compound, sometimes simple, rarely capitate or very reduced and
cyamose. Solitary flowers surrounded by a whorl of bracts, supported on numerous rays
arising from the same point. Some uni-rayed, some sessile. Umbels terminal, the oldest
having largest number of rays, with long peduncle. Later umbels are lateral. Peduncle sometimes
LEAVES : much divided leaves, x 2-3, entire in Bupleurum. Scattered, alternate,
usually exstipulate, segments may be entire, toothed, or pinnatifid. Petiole sheathing at the base.
Venation pinnate, in Bupleurum some parallel.

COTYLEDONS : tapering at the base or contracted into a petiole. Seedlings of perennial
& biennial develop rosette of leaves, earliest less divided than upper.

BRACTS : bracts and bracteoles usually present, whorled. Bracts appear
at point where rays arise from peduncle.

FLOWERS : small, white or yellow sometimes pink, rarely blue. Hermaphrodite
or unisexual, with nectar. Often strongly protandrous. 7-12 flowers on one ray. Calyx
teeth small, sometimes unequal and 0. 5 sepals. 5 petals, valvate or slightly. imbrecate,
hairy or papillose beneath, often notched with an inflexed or incurved point. Oil canal along
middle of petal. Outer petals at periphary of umbel are larger and radiate, otherwise they
are actinomorphic. Ovary inferior, 2 chambered, ovules pendant, solitary in each cell, pericarp
has 5 vascular bundles in each carpel. Ovary has nectar secreting disc at its summit, from
which two styles arise. 2 erect or curving styles, often with an enlarged base : stylopodium.
5 stamen, alternating with the petals, inflexed in bud. Filaments may be < or > than petals.
Anthers > than wide, attached to filaments at middle of the back. Stigma is unthickened /
globose knob or capitate.

FRUIT : dry, 2 united, 1 seeded capsules : indehiscent, joined by a narrow or broad
conirnisure. Carpels adnate to or suspended from a slender simple or divided axis : bifid
carpophore, which lies between two vittae. Carpels 1 at back of flower 1 at front, crowned
by a fleshy disk, semi circular in cross section or compressed either dorsally, at right
angles to commisure or laterally compressed. Carpels sometimes have distinct beak, a
continuation of the carpel. When ripe it splits into two parts, which hang from central stalk,
each known as a mericarp. Surface sometimes hairy, with papillae / straight or hooked spines
or bristles, arising from ridges. Surface is ridged and ducted, most prominently 5 or 9
ribbed and generally with 4 resinous canals : vittae, between the primary ridges, (rarely in them)
and 2 on the commisure face, holding aromatic or poisonous oils.


1. Hydrocotyle (L) 
2. Sanicula (L) 
3. Astrantia (L) 
4. Eryngium (L)
5. Chaerophyllum (L)
6. Anthriscus (L)Hoffm
7. Scandix (L) 
8. Myrrhis (Miller)
9. Coriandrum (L) 
10. Smyrnium (L)
11. Bunium (L)
12. Conopodium (Koch)
13. Pimpinella (L) 
14. Aegopodium (L)
15. Sium (L) 
16. Berula (Koch)
17. Crithmum (L) 
18. Seseli (L) 
19. Oenanthe (L)
20. Aethusa (L) 
21. Foeniculum (Miller)
22. Silaum (Miller)
23. Meum (Miller)
24. Physospermum (Luss)
25. Conium (L)
26. Bupleurum (L)
27. Trinia (Hoffm)
28. Apium (L)
29. Petroselinum (Hill)
30. Sison (L)
31. Cicuta (L)
32. Ammi (L)
33. Falcaria (Bernh)
34. Carum (L)
35. Selinum (L)
36. Ligusticum (L)
37. Angelica (L)
38. Peucadanum (L)
39. Pastinaca (L)
40. Heracleum (L)
41. Tordylium (L)
42. Torilis (L)
43. Daucus (L)
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Online Guide To Umbelliferae Of British Isles' Compiled By J.M.Burton 2002