Apiaceae - carrot family
Species that grow without cultivation on Mount Desert Island

compiled by the
Champlain Project - P. O. Box 55 - Bass Harbor, Maine  04653

(updated 2 September 2018)

Apiaceae - carrot family
Flowers in an umbel is a distinctive feature of the Apiaceae.

Mount Desert Island is home to 14 species in 11 genera that grow without cultivation. If you already know which species you have or are interested in learning about, click on the appropriate species link below. Otherwise, to determine which genus that the plant in question falls into, refer to the table immediately below the species list.
   Aegopodium (1 species)
      Aegopodium podagraria - bishop’s goutweed (frequency undetermined)
   Angelica (1 species)
      Angelica lucida - sea coast Angelica (occasional [see note 1 at bottom of page])
   Aralia (3 species)
      Aralia hispida - bristly sarsaparilla (occasional)
      Aralia nudicaulis - wild sarsaparilla (common)
      Aralia racemosa - American spikenard (rare)
   Carum (1 species)
      Carum carvi - caraway (uncommon)
   Cicuta (2 species)
      Cicuta bulbifera - bulblet-bearing water-hemlock (uncommon)
      Cicuta maculata - spotted water-hemlock (uncommon)
   Daucus (1 species)
      Daucus carota - Queen Anne’s lace (common)
   Heracleum (1 species)
      Heracleum mantegazzianum - giant cow-parsnip (rare)
   Ligusticum (1 species)
      Ligusticum scoticum - Scotch lovage (occasional)
   Pastinaca (1 species)
      Pastinaca sativa - wild parsnip ([?])
   Pimpinella (1 species)
      Pimpinella saxifraga - solid-stemmed burnet-saxifrage (uncommon)
   Sium (1 species)
      Sium suave - water-parsnip (occasional)

red font = unique character state or nearly so plant height leaf blade division umbel division umbel width petal color style number
Aegopodium 0.4–1 m mostly biternate compound; 15–25 primary branches 6–12 cm white 2
Angelica 0.5–1.2 m pinnately decompound compound; 20–many primary branches greenish white 2
Aralia 0.2–3 m simple; [2–?] primary branches white, greenish white 5
Carum 0.2–0.8 m pinnately dissected compound; 7–14 primary branches white 2
Cicuta 0.2–2 m once- to thrice-pinnate compound; [?] primary branches to 12 cm white 2
Daucus 0.4–1.0 m pinnately decompound compound; [?] primary branches 4–12 cm white 2
Heracleum 2–5 m ternate or ternate-pinnate compound; 50–150 primary branches to 50 cm white 2
Ligusticum 0.3–0.6 m once- to twice-ternate compound; 8–20 primary branches white 2
Pastinaca to 1.5 m mostly once-pinnate compound; 15–25 primary branches 10–20 cm yellow 2
Pimpinella 0.3–1 m pinnately divided to dissected compound; 8–20 primary branches white 2
Sium 0.3–2 m once-pinnate compound; 6–many primary branches 3–12 cm white 2

Aegopodium (goutweed)
[information to be added]

Aegopodium podagraria (bishop’s goutweed) - [information to be added]

(click on image to enlarge)

Angelica (Angelica)
[information to be added]

Angelica lucida (sea coast Angelica) - [information to be added]
(click on an image to enlarge)

Aralia (sarsaparilla)
[information to be added]

plant height stem armature leaf arrangement petal number petal color fruit color
Aralia hispida 20–90 cm sharp bristles at the base alternate 5 white dark purple
Aralia nudicaulis 20–40 cm absent solitary 4 greenish white purple-black
Aralia racemosa to 300 cm absent alternate 5 greenish white red, turning darker with age

Aralia hispida (bristly sarsaparilla) - [information to be added]

(click on image to enlarge)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla) - This does not appear to be a woody plant at first sight, but if you run your fingers down what might be thought to be the stem, you will come to the woody part around ground level. What is above ground is a single leaf.

(click on image to enlarge)

Aralia racemosa (American spikenard) - [information to be added]

Carum (caraway)
[information to be added]

Carum carvi (caraway) - [information to be added]

Cicuta (water-hemlock)
[information to be added]

plant height stems leaves umbel width petal margin
Cicuta bulbifera 0.2–1 m [?] divided once 2–5 cm [?]
Cicuta maculata 0.5–2 m with a whitish bloom, usually mottled or striped with purple divided 2–3 times 5–6 cm with reflexed margins

Cicuta bulbifera (bulblet-bearing water-hemlock) - [information to be added]

Cicuta maculata (spotted water-hemlock) - [information to be added]

Daucus (Queen Anne’s lace)
[information to be added]

Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s lace)
   root: The root is a taproot, occasionally branched. Before the aerial stem appears, it is edible after boiling. Following the development of the aerial stem, the taproot becomes woody and unpalatable. Even then, though, the outer portion of the root can be peeled away and eaten. (source: Ancestral Plants volume 1, by Arthur Haines; p. 119.)
   stem: Although this species is considered a biennial, it sometimes can take as many as five years for an aerial stem to appear above the rosette of basal leaves. (source: A Guide to Enjoying Wildflowers by Donald and Lillian Stokes; p. 265.) The aerial stem is pubescent.
   leaves: Both the basal leaves (of the rosette) and the alternate, cauline leaves are finely dissected.
   flowers: The flowers grow in a compound umbel (i.e., each branch of the primary umbel gives rise to a secondary umbel, sometimes called an umbellet). Just below the compound umbel are prominent bracts, finely divided like the leaves. Each radially symmetric flower has five white (or nearly so) petals, five stamens that alternate with the petals, and a single pistil that is composed of two fused carpels. Each of the fused carpels gives rise to a stigma. Near the middle of the inflorescence is sometimes a sterile, purple-petaled flower.
   habitat: This native of Eurasia is common in fields.
(click on an image to enlarge)

Heracleum (cow-parsnip)
[information to be added]

Heracleum mantegazzianum (giant cow-parsnip) - [information to be added]
(click on an image to enlarge)

Ligusticum (lovage)
[information to be added]

Ligusticum scoticum (Scotch lovage) - [information to be added]

(click on image to enlarge)

Pastinaca (wild parsnip)
[information to be added]

Pastinaca sativa (wild parsnip) - [information to be added]
(click on an image to enlarge)

Pimpinella (burnet-saxifrage)
[information to be added]

Pimpinella saxifraga (solid-stemmed burnet-saxifrage) - [information to be added]

Sium (water-parsnip)
[information to be added]

Sium suave (water-parsnip) - [information to be added]
(click on an image to enlarge)

   1. Frequency designations are from the paper “Vascular flora of the Acadia National Park region, Maine” by Craig W. Greene, Linda L. Gregory, Glen H. Mittelhauser, Sally C. Rooney, and Jill E. Weber, published in the spring 2005 issue (vol. 107, No. 930) of Rhodora: Journal of the New England Botanical Club.