Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Lincoln Constance

Annual, biennial, perennial herb (rarely shrub, tree), often from taproot
Stem often ± scapose, generally ribbed, hollow
Leaves basal and generally some cauline, generally alternate; stipules generally 0; petiole base generally sheathing stem; blade generally much dissected, sometimes compound
Inflorescence: umbel or head, simple or compound, generally peduncled; bracts present (in involucres) or not; bractlets generally present (in involucels)
Flowers many, small, generally bisexual (or some staminate), generally radial (or outer bilateral); calyx 0 or lobes 5, small, atop ovary; petals 5, free, generally ovate or spoon-shaped, generally incurved at tips, generally ± ephemeral; stamens 5; pistil 1, ovary inferior, 2-chambered, generally with a ± conic, persistent projection or platform on top subtending 2 free styles
Fruit: 2 dry, 1-seeded halves that separate from each other but generally remain attached for some time to a central axis; ribs on each half 5, 2 marginal and 3 on back; oil tubes 1–several per interval between ribs
Genera in family: 300 genera, 3,000 species: ± worldwide, especially temp; many cultivated for food or spice (e.g., Carum, caraway; Daucus; Petroselinum); some highly toxic (e.g., Conium). Underground structures here called roots, but true nature remains problematic. Mature fruit generally critical in identification; shapes generally given in outline, followed by shape in X -section of 2 fruit halves together.


Perennial, taprooted or short-rhizomed, glabrous or ± scabrous in inflorescence
Stem erect, branched
Leaf: blade ovate to widely triangular, 1–4-pinnately or -ternate-pinnately dissected or compound; segments or leaflets toothed or lobed to deeply cut; sheaths conspicuously dilated
Inflorescence: umbels compound; bracts generally 0; bractlets generally present, ± scarious; rays, pedicels many, spreading-ascending
Flower: calyx lobes 0 or minute; petals wide, white, tip notched
Fruit oblong to ovate, very compressed front-to-back; marginal ribs widely thin-winged, those on back low, corky, or all ribs winged; oil tubes per rib-interval 1–4; fruit axis divided to base
Seed: face flat or slightly concave
Species in genus: ± 10 species: North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Combined generic names Conium + Selinum)

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