Genera : 300
Species: 2500 - 3000
Links to Genus Directory of Images:
Distribution: North temperate regions and tropical highlands.
Economic Uses: As an abundant source of foods and spices including; carrots, parsnip, chervil, dill, celery, caraway, parsley and anise. Many species are poisonous and this family is also the source of hemlock, the poison with which Socrates took his life.
Defining Features of Interest: The family is defined by its distinctive inflorescence, the umbel, which gives the group the alternate name 'the Umbelliferae'. Many species are biennial, producing the vegetables eaten by humans in their second season of growth.
Fossil Evidence: Microfossils in theEocene.
Floral Features :7
Fruit and Seed Features :