Smyrnium L.

Smyrnium is a genus with 6-8 species from Europe and the Mediterranean area (Mabberley 2008). Two species are cultivated as ornamentals or as pot herbs, Smyrnium olusatrum L. and S. perfoliatum L. (Richardson 1997). Both readily escape and can become weedy or even invasive. They have been recorded in Belgium as well.

Tribe Smyrnieae is maintained as comprising only two genera, Smyrnium L. and Lecokia DC. Analysis of six of the seven species recognized in Smyrnium indicates that the genus is strongly supported as monophyletic (Ajani & al. 2008).

1       Leaves dark green, with inflated petioles, all (also the upper) divided. Ripe fruit 6,5-8 mm === Smyrnium olusatrum

         Leaves yellowish green, strongly clasping stem, the upper undivided. Ripe fruit 2-3,5 mm === S. perfoliatum


Ajani Y., Ajani A., Cordes J.M., Watson M.F. & Downie S.R. (2008) Phylogenetic analysis of nrDNA ITS sequences reveals relationships within five groups of Iranian Apiaceae subfamily Apioideae. Taxon 57(2): 383-401. [available online at:]

Mabberley D.J. (2008) Mabberley’s plant-book (3th ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: XVIII + 1021 p.

Rechinger K.H. (1987) Smyrnium L. In: Rechinger K.H. (ed.), Flora Iranica. Graz: Akademische Druck-u. Verlagsanstalt, vol. 162: 163 p.

Richardson J.E. (1997) Smyrnium. In: Cullen J. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 5. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 401.

Shishkin B.K. (1950) Umbelliferae. In: Komarov V.L. (ed.), Flora of the USSR. Moskva-Leningrad; Izdatel’stvo Akademmii Nauk SSSR. Vol. 16: 156-158.

Stevens P.F. (1972) Smyrnium L. In: Davis P.H. (ed.), Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Vol. 4: 337-340.

Tutin T.G. (1968) Smyrnium L. In: Tutin T.G. & al. (eds.), Flora Europaea, vol. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.: 328.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith