What does “umbelliferous” mean?

From Biology Online: Umbelliferous

“(Science: botany) Producing umbels. Of or pertaining to a natural order (Umbelliferae) of plants, of which the parsley, carrot, parsnip, and fennel are well-known examples.

Origin: Umbel: cf. F. Ombillifere.”

From Wikipedia:

“The family includes some highly toxic plants, such as hemlock. Many plants in this family, such as wild carrot, have estrogenic properties and have been used as folk medicine for birth control. Most notable for this use is the extinct giant fennel, silphium. The cultivated plants in this category are almost all considered good companion plants, as the umbrella of tiny flowers attracts omnivorous beneficial insects, especially ladybugs, parasitic wasps and predatory flies, which then will hunt insect pests on nearby crops.

…Notable members include dill, angelica, celery, caraway, gotu kola (pennywort), poison hemlock, coriander, cumin, Queen Anne’s Lace / carrot, fennel, asafoetida, cicely, parsnip, parsley, anise, and lovage.

…The botanical subspeciality that studies Apiaceae is sometimes called sciadophytography.”

Read more about the family Umbelliferae (or Apiaceae).


1 Comment

  1. Mr WordPress said,

    October 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    An auto-form comment! How exciting!

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