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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.


Species in genus: 1 sp
Etymology: (Latin: dill)


A. graveolens L.


Annual, 0.5–2 m, taprooted; herbage glabrous, glaucous, anise-scented
Stem erect, branched, hollow
Leaves mostly cauline; petiole 5–6 cm; blade 12–35 cm, oblong to obovate, pinnately dissected, segments 4–20 mm, thread-like
Inflorescence: umbels compound, peduncled; bracts, bractlets 0; rays, pedicels many, slender, subequal, spreading or spreading-ascending
Flower: calyx lobes 0; petals wide, yellow, tips narrowed
Fruit 2–4.5 mm, ovate, compressed front-to-back, glabrous; ribs unequal, marginal narrowly winged, others thread-like; oil tubes per rib-interval 1; fruit axis divided to base
Seed: face ± flat
Chromosomes: 2n=22
Ecology: Disturbed places
Elevation: generally < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Southwestern California
Distribution outside California: native to Mediterranean
Widely but sporadically escaped from cultivated.

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