The Carrot Family

This family was formerly called Umbellifera and is also known as the parsley family. There are between 300 to 400 genera from widely distributed areas in the temperate zones of the world.

The flowers are often found in a flat-topped umbel cluster.

Many members of this family are poisonous including poison hemlock (Conium maculatum), water hemlock (Cicuta maculata), and fool’s parsley (Aethusa cynapium) while others are used for food.

Common vegetable species would include parsley (Petroselinum crispum), carrot (Daucus carota), celery (Apium graveolens), parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare).

Species used as herbs and spices include anise (Pimpinella anisum), dill (Anethum graveolens), coriander (Coriandrum sativum), caraway (Carum carvi), and cumin (Cuminum cyminum)

Fool's Parsley
Bishop's Weed
Holy Ghost, Wild Celery
Black Cumin
Water Hemlock
Poison Hemlock
Sea Holly
Giant Hogweed
Water Pennywort
Sweet Cicely

Note on Taxonomy - Plant taxonomy is the art and science of classifying plants into groupings in order to help people make sense of the huge diversity found in the world. The people who do this for a living are called taxonomists. They are continually evaluating and re-evaluating how plants are classified. For example, with the recent emergence of DNA analysis, many plants have been changing classification.

Also, there is no one, single universal classification system for plants. Rather, there is a lot of debate among taxonomists which may lead to confusion for the average gardener. That is why, in these family listings, you often see the words "about" or "around" when counting the number of genera or species to include. It is also why new families are created and some of the old ones suddenly fade away. So, don't be surprised if you find slightly different information at other sites or sources. Oh, well.


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