Umbellifers (Umbelliferae/Apiaceae) are angiosperms including cumin, parsley, carrot, coriander/cilantro, dill, caraway, fennel, parsnip, celery, anise, and other relatives. It is a large family with about 300 genera and more than 3,000 species. It is the 16th-largest family of flowering plants, with more than 3,700 species in 434 genera. There are a small number of poisonous plants. Hemlock has a paralysing effect. There are a lot of phototoxic species. Light causes changes which produce toxic chemicals. Phototoxicity causes a chemically induced skin irritation. It needs light, and does not involve the immune system. It is a type of photosensitivity.
|Inflorescence of wild Angelica |
Apiaceae (or Umbelliferae)
The defining characteristic of the family is the inflorescence. The flowers usually grouped in terminal umbels, as shown in the photograph. They are usually compound, and called umbelliform cymes. They are groups of groups.
- Stevens P.F. (2001 onwards). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 9, June 2008.