Pastinaca L.
Sp.Pl. 2:262 (1753)

Name Status: Current
Browse to the list of specimens for Pastinaca L.

Scientific Description
H.R. Coleman, Thursday 8 September 2016

Family Apiaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs; bearing essential oils, or without essential oils (?); resinous, or not resinous (?). Biennial, or perennial; plants with a basal concentration of leaves, or with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves (?). Stem internodes hollow. Usually with a taproot. Helophytic, or mesophytic. Leaves small to large; alternate; ‘herbaceous’; petiolate. Petioles sheathing. Leaves more or less sheathing. Leaf sheaths with free margins. Leaves gland-dotted, or not gland-dotted (?); aromatic; compound, or simple (rarely); pulvinate, or epulvinate (?); pinnate. Leaflets oblong, or ovate, or obtriangular. Leaf blades pinnately veined. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins serrate, or dentate. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hairs present. Stem anatomy. Nodes multilacunar, or tri-lacunar (?). Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring, or anomalous (?); from a single cambial ring.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite, or hermaphrodite and functionally male (sometimes in the same umbel). Unisexual flowers present, or absent. Plants hermaphrodite, or andromonoecious. Entomophilous.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. Inflorescence few-flowered. Flowers in umbels. Inflorescences compound. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose, or racemose (?). Inflorescences terminal and axillary; pedunculate; ray bracts present, caducous; with involucral bracts, or without involucral bracts (?). Flowers pedicellate; bracteate, or ebracteate. Bracts when present, deciduous (few). Flowers bracteolate, or ebracteolate; small; regular to somewhat irregular (?); 5 merous (except for the gynoecium); cyclic; tetracyclic, or tricyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla (but the calyx very reduced), or petaline; 5, or 10; 2 -whorled, or 1 -whorled; isomerous; yellow, or red. Calyx present to vestigial, or absent; when detectable, 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous. Corolla 5; 1 -whorled; polypetalous; valvate; unequal but not bilabiate, or regular (?); yellow, or red. Corolla members entire (apex truncate, incurved). Androecium 5. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal to markedly unequal (?); free of one another; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous; inflexed in bud. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Fertile gynoecium present, or absent (male flowers). Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 2 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious; inferior. Ovary plurilocular; 2 locular. Gynoecium median. Epigynous disk present. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 2; free to partially joined (their bases thickened into a depressed-conical stylopodium crowning the ovary); apical. Stigmas wet type; non-papillate; Group IV type. Placentation axile, or apical (?). Ovules 1 per locule, or 2 per locule (usually two, but one abortive ?); pendulous; epitropous; non-arillate; anatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; a schizocarp. Mericarps 2 (the lateral ridges forming a wing bordering the fruit). Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo achlorophyllous; straight. Seedling. Germination phanerocotylar.

Physiology, biochemistry. Aluminium accumulation not found. Photosynthetic pathway: C3.

Geography, cytology, number of species. Adventive. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania.

Economic uses, etc. Important food plant (parsnip).

Taxonomic Literature

  • Marchant, N. G.; Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Bennett, E. M.; Lander, N. S.; Macfarlane, T. D.; Western Australian Herbarium (1987). Flora of the Perth region. Part one. Western Australian Herbarium. Perth.