Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)

The Apiaceae are aromatic herbs, shrubs, trees, or occasionally lianas; stems often hollow in internodes; basic unit of inflorescence usually an umbel or less commonly a head, these simple or distributed in umbels, racemes, spikes, or panicles.  The family includes about 460 genera and 4,250 species. The leaves are nearly always alternate and pinnately or palmately compound or more than once compound, occasionally simple, but even then usually deeply dissected or lobed; petioles are often sheathing; stipules are present or absent. The flowers are typically small, mostly bisexual, mostly actinomorphic except in a few instances where pseudanthia are produced and the peripheral flowers have enlarged petals directed away from the center of the inflorescence. The calyx is reduced to 5 (occasionally more) tooth-like sepals around the summit of the ovary or may even be obsolete. The corolla consists of 5 (occasionally more) distinct or sometimes irregularly coherent, typically inflexed petals, or rarely the corolla is lacking. The androecium comprises distinct stamens equaling in number and alternating with the petals and arising from an epigynous nectary disk. The gynoecium consists of a single compound pistil of 2-15 carpels, an equal number of styles or these connate into one style, and an inferior ovary with 2-15 locules, each bearing a single pendulous, axile ovule. An epigynous nectary disk is generally confluent with the enlarged stylar base (stylopodium). The fruit is a berry or drupe that sometimes splits into one-seeded segments ("Aralioids"), or a specialized schizocarp that splits into two 1-seeded segments ("Apioides").

Each "thumbnail" image below is linked to a larger photograph.

Anethum graveolens, dill. Corvallis, OR, 2005.
Angelica hendersonii, Henderson's angelica.  Yaquina Head Lighthouse, OR, Jul 2004.
Astrantium major. This species has showy bracts at the base of the umbel. It also has larger sepals than typical for the family. Note the small, pinkish inflexed petals and the inferior ovaries.
Ciclospermum leptophyllum, fir-leaved celery.
Cicuta douglasii, water hemlock. The rays of other portions of the compound umbel are barely visible in the background. Notice the 5-merous nature of the corolla and androecium, and the fleshy nectary disk and stylopodium around the base of the 2 styles in each flower.
Coriandrum sativum, coriander. This species has the flowers arranged to form a loose pseudanthium that mimics a single flower. Notice that the peripheral flowers have one or two petals enlarged and directed away from the center of the umbel.
Daucus carota, wild carrot, Queen Anne's lace, Corvallis, OR, July 2003.
Eryngium foetidum. This genus has the flowers in heads rather than umbels.
Heracleum lanatum, cow parsnip, vic. Corvallis, OR, 2002.
Hydrocotyle verticillata, marsh pennywort. Although not visible here, this species is a rare example of the occurrence of simple leaves in Apiaceae. However, the inflorescence type and floral construction are still typical for the family. Notice the inferior ovary and the two styles per pistil.
Lomatium ?dissectum., vic. Cheney, WA, 2002.
Osmorrhiza berteroi, common sweet cicely, Hackleman Old Growth Trail, Cascades, OR, July 2003.
Sanicula sandwicensis, snakeroot. This endemic Hawaiian species has the umbels compacted into headlike inflorescences. The calyx lobes are more prominent than seen in many members of the family. The flowers are reportedly perfect or male although these appear to be male or female.
Bee-fly on Apiaceae, Mt. Spokane, WA, July, 2003.
Unknown genus.
Arthrophyllum sp. Note the palmately compound leaf, 5-merous flowers, umbellate inflorescence and the calyx that forms a rim with minute teeth around the summit of the inferior ovary.
Cheirodendron platyphyllum, 'olapa. This Hawaiian endemic species has leaves (and leaflets) that quake like aspen (for the same reason, i.e. flattened stalks).
Munroidendron racemosum. This is a rare Hawaiian endemic genus that has the flowers in racemes instead of the usual umbels found in the family.  It also has numerous stamens and irregularly connate petals.
Reynoldsia sandwicensis, 'ohe. In this endemic Hawaiian species the petals are often connate in pairs or threes, giving the appearance of commonly 4 or 5 petals. There are usually about 10 stamens.
Schefflera actinophylla, octopus tree. This ornamental species from Australia has flowers with about a dozen perianth segments and stamens. The petals fall away that is, are caducous as the stamens expand. A conspicuous disk is present and a style is lacking.
Tetraplasandra oahuensis, 'ohe mauka. Note the pinnate leaves, umbellate inflorescence, and flowers with five and six petals and alternating stamens; the inferior ovary and nectary disk are also evident in this this endemic Hawaiian species.
Tetraplasandra waimeae, 'ohe kiko'ola, endemic genus.

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