APIACEAE - Carrot or Parsley Family

Biennial or perennial herbs, rarely woody

Leaves alternate and much divided, sheathing at base

Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, infl. an umbel, compound umbel or rarely capitate (Eryngium)

Fruit a dry schizocarp splitting into two mericarps

300 genera, 3000 species


1. Daucus carota (Carrots) - tap root
2. Pastinaca sativa (Parsnips) - tap root
3. Apium graveolens (Celery) - expanded leaf petiole

A. Herbage - referred to as herbs
1. Petroselinum crispum (Parsley)
2. Anthriscus cerefolium (Chervil)
3. Anethum graveolens (Dill)
4. Coriandrum sativum (Cilantro)

B. Dried fruits - referred to as spices
1. Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel)
2. Cuminum cyminum (Cumin)
3. Pimpinella anisum (Anise)
4. Apium sativum (Celery seed)
5. Carum carvi (Caraway seed)
6. Corandrum sativum (Coriander)
7. Anethum graveolens (Dill)

A. Conium maculatum (Poison Hemlock) used to kill Socrates
B. Cicuta maculata (Water Hemlock) - possibly more poisonous than Conium

Diagnostic characteristics: Herbs, infl. an umbel, leaves much divided, fruit a schizocarp