Carrot Family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)

Diagnostic characters

  1. Habits: Annual or perennial herbs rarely shrubs.
  2. Roots: Tap root, branched, sometimes, tuberous due to presence of stored food.
  3. Stem: Herbaceous stem, erect or prostate with swollen nodes.
  4. Leaves: Petiolate, Alternate, simple, exstipulate, reticulate venation. Usually sheathing at the base.
  5. Inflorescence: Cymose, umbel (old name of family Umbelliferae derive from umbel), simple or compound. Umbel is surrounded by thin leafy bracts involure and involucel.
  6. Flower: Ped ici I late, ebracteate, actinomorphic, Regular, complete, hermaphrodite; epigynous with a disc, pentamerous, sometimes, outer petal of marginal flowers of umbel are enlarged. Therefore, the flowers are irregular and zygomorphic.
  7. Calyx: 5 sepals, adnate to ovary, superior, free.
  8. Corolla: 5, free, often bifid, unequal velvate or imbricate, superior.
  9. Stamens: 5 Stamens, free, alternating with petals, anther versatile, superior.
  10. Carpel: Bicarpillary, syncarpous, ovary inferior, bilocular with single pendulous ovule in each loeulus, style two, stigma two, placentation parietal.
  11. Fruits: Cremocarp, oblong, ridged.
  12. Seed: Albuminous seed

Floral formula and Floral Diagram

ED or t, , Kg or C5, A1. ‘Cm.

 Carrot Family Apiaceae

Carrot Family Apiaceae

Economic importance

  1. Food: This family has many vegetables like carrot, parsely, parsnip and sowa.
  2. Fodder: Several members of this family are important as forage plants for cattle and horses. Some of these plants are carrot, wild parsely, cow-parnip, angelicas etcs.
  3. Codiments: Many members of this family are used as condiments. For example, Fercula (Hing), Carum (Ajwan), Cuminum (Zira), Foeniculum (Saunf), coriandrum (Dhania) and peucedanum (Sowa). Volatile oils, resins etc are produced in the bark, leaves, and fruits give the plant their fragrance.
  4. Medicinal: This family has many medicinal plants. For example, Ligusticum (Lovage- Ajwain), Ferula (Hing), Foeniculum (Saunf), Anethum (Dill or Sowa) are used in many drugs for digestive disorders.. Hing is obtained from resinous gum produced from the roots of Ferula asafetida in Afghanistan and Iran. Centella or Hydrocotyle (Brahmin booti) is useful for brain work.
  5. Poisons: Several members of this family give acrid watery juice. It has narcotic effects in animals. Among these, the most important is conium (Hemlock). Every part of this plant especially fresh leaves and fruits contain a volatile oily alkali called conine. It is much poisonous. Its few drops can kill some small animals. It acts on nervous system. Therefore, its small doze is effective for cancerous and nervous disorders. Several

British species like Oenanthae, Cicuta and Aethusa are also poisonous. Their fleshy roots are very deadly to all kinds of livestock. These are also fatal to human.

  1. Oil: Oil is obtained from coriander (Dhania) and Centella (Brahmi). These are used as hair oil.
  2. Ornamental plants: Several plants are cultivated domestically as ornamental plants like blue lac flower or didicans (Trachymene), Angeica (Angelica), sea holly (Eryngium) and cow parsnip (Heraclaeum).Distribution patternThis family is commonly known as carrot or parsely family. It is a large family. It contains about 200 genera and 2900 species. Most of its members are oily or aromatic. They are distributed. They are mos.. abundant in the north temperate and sub-tropical regions. They are mostly absent from tropics.

    important Species

    1. Daucus carota, Carrot (Gajar)
    2. Foeniculum vulgaris Fennel-Saul&
    3. Coriandrum sativum, Corriander-Dhania
    4. Apium graveoloens, Celery —Ajmud


    Armen Leonovich Takhtajan or Takhtajian (June 10, 1.910 — November 13, 2009) was a Soviet-Armenian botanist. He was one of the most important figures in 20th  century plant evolution and systematics and biogeography. His interests included morphology of flowering plants, paleobotany, and the flora of the Caucasus (Russia). He was born in Shushi. Takhtajan worked at the Komarov Botanical Institute in Leningrad. He developed his 1940 classification scheme for flowering plants. This classification emphasized phylogenetic relationships between plants. His system did not become known to botanists in the West until after 1950. In the late 1950s he began a correspondence and collaboration with the prominent American botanist Arthur Cronquist. – The plant classification scheme of Cronquits was heavily influenced by his collaboration with Takhtajan and other botanists at Komarov. Takhtajan was a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as a foreign associate of the U.S. Sciences since 1971. He was also the academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR, the president of the Soviet All-Union Botanical Society (1973) and the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (1975). He was a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Literature (1971), the German Academy of Naturalists “Leopoldina” (1972) and other scientific societies. He is an author of works on the origin of flowering and paleobotanics. He developed a system of higher plants. He worked on the “Flora of Armenia” (vol. 1-6, 1954-73) and “Fossil flowering plants of the USSR “(v. 1, 1974) books.


    I. His system is based on phylogenetic system of classification. This system has greatly influenced all recent systems of classification.

    1. His system of classification is inspired by Hans Hallier’s earlier theories.
    2. He published preliminary diagram of phylogeny of orders of Angiosperms.
    3. One of his main innovations was subdivision of both monocots and dicots into subclasses. These are widely accepted as a major advancement in angiosperm classification.
    1. Takhtajan system of classification* is synthetic, integrated and based on all available data. This data includes recent studies in embryology, cytology, genetics, comparative anatomy, photochemistry and molecular data. It is also based on cladistic analysis of many texa.
    2. The book of Armen Takhtajan, “Diversity and classification of flowering plant” includes interafamilial classification (subfamilies and tribes).
    3. Armen Takhtajan traveled extensively throughout the world. He studied floristic composition of different regions. His book, “Floristic regions of the World”, contains floristic division of whole of the world. It also listed endemic families and genera. He also provided endemic species of each region.
    4. He put forward various examples of parallelism and convergent evolution from angiospermic families. He used molecular data and available contemporary record to organism these species into their respective families.
    5. Peter Steven, one of his critic has tested the hypothesis of Takhtajan by DNA analysis and found her classification perfect.
    6. The Takhtajan system is similar to the Cronquist system. But it has greater complexity at the higher levels. He favors smaller orders and families. It allows character and evolutionary relationships to be more easily grasped.
    7. The Takhtajan classification system remains influential. It is used, for example, by the Montreal Botanical Garden. It is recognized throughout the world.
    8. Armen Takhtajan has age of more than 100 years (June 10, 1910 — November 13, 2009). It is very long life span. He spent most of life in study of plants. He interacted with many famous botanists of the world. Therefore, his classification system unique in chalacter. It is formed as result of hard work of more than 80 years.
    9. In this system the flowering plants are divided into two classes:

    a)   Class Magnoliopsida (or Dicotyledons) includes 8 subclasses, 126 orders, c. 440 families, almost 10,500 genera, and no less than 195,000 species;

    b)Class Liliopsida (or Monocotyledons) includes 4 subclasses, 31 orders, 120 families, more than 3,000 genera, and about 65,000 species.

    . He wrote 20 books and more than 300 scientific papers, many of which were ground-breaking, from his 1943 paper Correlations of Ontogenesis and Phylogenesis in Higher Plants, in which he unveiled his theories on macroevolution as a result of changcs in developmental timing, through to his books Floristic Regions of the World and Diversity and Classification of Flowering Plants.

    Taxa developed by Takhtajan

    The Takhtajan system of flowering plant classification treats flowering plants as a division (phylum), Magnoliophyta,. It has two classes. These two classes are subdivided into subclasses, and then superorders, orders, and families. The two classes are:

    a)    ,Magnoliopsida (dicots): It has following subclasses:

    Subclass Asteridae

    Subclass Caryophy I I idae

    Subclass Dilleniidae

    Subclass Hamamel id idae

    Subclass Magnoliidae

    Subclass Rosidae

    b)  Liliopsida (monocots): It has following st.’Iclasses:

    Subclass Alismatidae

    Subclass Arecidae

    Subclass Cornmelinidae

    Subclass Liliidae

    Subclass Zingiberida

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