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Vascular Plants of California
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Ammi visnaga

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to perennial herb [shrub, tree], generally from taproot. Stem: generally +- scapose, generally ribbed, hollow. Leaf: basal and generally cauline, generally alternate; stipules generally 0; petiole base generally sheathing stem; blade generally much dissected, occasionally compound. Inflorescence: umbel or head, simple or compound, generally peduncled; bracts present in involucres or 0; bractlets generally present in "involucels". Flower: many, small, generally bisexual (or some staminate), generally radial (or outer bilateral); calyx 0 or lobes 5, small; 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 at tip subtending 2 free styles. Fruit: 2 dry, 1-seeded halves (= mericarps), separating from each other but generally +- persistent to central axis; ribs on halves 5, 2 marginal, 3 to back; oil tubes 1--several per interval between ribs.
Genera In Family: 300 genera, 3000 species: +- worldwide, especially temperate; many cultivated for food or spice (e.g., Carum, caraway; Daucus; Petroselinum); Bupleurum lancifolium Hornem. is historical garden weed; some toxic (e.g., Conium). Note: Mature fruit generally critical in identification, shape given in outline. Hydrocotyle moved to Araliaceae, Orogenia moved to Lomatium, Sphenosciadium moved to Angelica. Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) A.W. Hill is a waif.
eFlora Treatment Author: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: AmmiView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, biennial, taprooted, glabrous. Stem: erect, branched. Leaf: blade oblong to ovate, pinnately or ternately dissected, segments lanceolate to thread-like. Inflorescence: umbels compound; bracts, bractlets many, leaf-like; rays, pedicels many, spreading-ascending to incurved in fruit. Flower: calyx lobes minute; petals wide, white, tips 2-lobed. Fruit: oblong to ovate, +- cylindric, compressed side-to-side; ribs +- equal, thread-like; oil tube 1 per rib-interval; fruit axis entire or divided. Seed: face flat.
Species In Genus: +- 6 species: Eurasia, Mediterranean. Etymology: (Ancient name used by Dioscorides) Toxicity: TOXIC: rarely eaten by livestock.
eFlora Treatment Author: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax
Ammi visnaga (L.) Lam.
Habit: Plant 2--8 dm. Leaf: petiole +- 1 cm; blade 5--20 cm, triangular-ovate, segments 5--35 mm; cauline leaves 1- or 2-pinnately or -ternately dissected. Inflorescence: glabrous; peduncle 8--14 cm; rays 60--100, 2--5 cm, slender; pedicels 3--13 mm. Fruit: 2--2.5 mm, oblong-ovate to ovate. Chromosomes: 2n=20.
Ecology: Roadsides, railroad tracks, disturbed areas; Elevation: generally < 1000 m. Bioregional Distribution: CCo, SCo; Distribution Outside California: native to Eurasia. Flowering Time: Jun--Jul
Jepson eFlora Author: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Ammi visnaga

botanical illustration including Ammi visnaga


Citation for this treatment: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax 2012, Ammi visnaga, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 10, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 10, 2022.

Ammi visnaga
click for enlargement
© 2007 Carol W. Witham
Ammi visnaga
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice
Ammi visnaga
click for enlargement
© 2007 Carol W. Witham
Ammi visnaga
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice
Ammi visnaga
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice

More photos of Ammi visnaga in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Ammi visnaga:
CCo, SCo
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).