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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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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.


Biennial, perennial herb, rhizomed or tap- or tuberous-rooted, glabrous or minutely scabrous
Stem generally spreading or erect
Leaf: blade oblong-ovate to obovate, entire to ternately, palmately, subpinnately, or pinnately lobed, dissected, or compound
Inflorescence: heads simple, in cymes or racemes, dense, of bisexual and staminate (or only staminate) flowers; bracts entire or lobed, < to > heads; bisexual flowers pedicelled or not, staminate generally pedicelled
Flower: calyx lobes prominent, persistent, sometimes fused; petals wide, yellow, red-purple, or greenish white, tips narrowed, often lobed; styles long or short; projection atop ovary 0
Fruit oblong-ovate to round, slightly compressed side-to-side; fruit-halves subcylindric, covered with prickles, scales, or tubercles; ribs 0; oil tubes evident or obscure, regularly or irregularly arranged; fruit central axis not an obvious structure
Seed: face flat or grooved
Species in genus: ± 40 species: temp, ± worldwide
Etymology: (Latin: to heal)
Reference: [Bell 1954 Univ Calif Publ Bot 27:133–230]


S. bipinnatifida Hook.


Plant 12–60 cm, taprooted
Leaf simple, 1–2-pinnately dissected, green, glaucous, or purplish; blade 4–19 cm, oblong-ovate to ± round, main divisions generally 7 or more, generally narrow, coarsely toothed
Inflorescence: peduncle 0.5–16 cm; bracts 6–8, 2.5 mm, lanceolate, slightly fused at base, < heads; pedicel of bisexual flower 0, of staminate 2 mm, < fruit
Flowers: bisexual 8–10; staminate 10–12; calyx lobes 0.8–1 mm, widely lanceolate, acute, slightly fused at base; corolla purple or yellow; styles 2 X calyx lobes
Fruits 3–8 per head, 3–6 mm, ovate to round, with stout, curved, inflated, bulbous-based prickles
Seed: face concave
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Open grassland, often serpentine, or pine/oak woodland
Elevation: 20–1200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Central Western California, Southwestern California
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Baja California
Horticultural information: SUN: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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