Species in the Apiaceae are annual, biennial, or perennial herbs, and include shrubs, trees, and lianas. The stem may be hollow at the nodes. The leaves are alternate, usually divided, and have a sheathing base. In many species, the leaves give off a strong odor when crushed. The flowers are arranged in an umbel, in which flowers arise on long pedicels (like the supports of an umbrella) to form a flat- or round-topped array of flowers. The small flowers usually have both pollen-bearing or ovule-bearing parts. The flowers are actinomorphic (radially symmetrical), with 5 petals, 5 small sepals (sometimes none), and 5 stamens, all attached above the ovary (i.e., the ovary is inferior). The petals may be white, yellow, pink, or purple in color. The fruit in most members of the family is a schizocarp, and splits into 2 seed-like pieces, whereas in others it is fleshy and contains 2-5 seeds. This family now includes species that were formerly placed in the Araliaceae.
This Family’s Genera in New England:
Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key