Apiaceae Lindl.

Carum L.

This genus is accepted, and its native range is Temp. & Subtropical Old World.


Ghazanfar, S. A. & Edmondson, J. R (Eds). (2014) Flora of Iraq, Volume 5 Part 2: Lythraceae to Campanulaceae.

Morphology General Habit
Biennial or perennial herbs with fusiform or fibrous roots
Morphology Leaves
Leaves variously 2–4-pinnatisect
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Umbels compound
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Involucre
Involucre absent or of few bracts; involucel constantly present
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers usually white or pink, rarely (not in Iraq) dark red or cream-coloured, mostly hermaphrodite but apparent male flowers sometimes present
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals obovate or obcordate, the tip emarginate, with an inflexed lobule
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Valleculae 1–3-vittate (usually with one broad vitta), commissure 2–4-vittate Fruit oblong-ovoid or ovoid rotund, laterally compressed (sometimes considerably so), smooth and glabrous; ribs 5, narrow, pale, prominent and conspicuous; mericarps often falcately curved
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stylopodium
Stylopodia shortly conical or flattened, styles somewhat longer, ± spreading or reflexed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Carpophore
Carpophore bifid or deeply bipartite
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds Endosperm
Endosperm subterete, commissural face flat or almost so.
About 30 species in the temperate regions of the Old World; only one native species in Iraq and perhaps another sometimes cultivated.
Carum (probably from the district of Caria in Asia Minor where caraway was much grown; Stearn points out that it is the Latin form of the Greek name for caraway, καρον, karon, the name used for caraway by Dioscorides).

Native to:

Afghanistan, Albania, Altay, Amur, Austria, Baltic States, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Buryatiya, Central European Rus, China North-Central, China South-Central, Chita, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, East Himalaya, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Inner Mongolia, Iran, Iraq, Irkutsk, Italy, Kamchatka, Kazakhstan, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Krasnoyarsk, Krym, Kuril Is., Lebanon-Syria, Manchuria, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, North Caucasus, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Primorye, Qinghai, Romania, Sakhalin, South European Russi, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, West Himalaya, West Siberia, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yugoslavia

Introduced into:

Alberta, Algeria, British Columbia, Colorado, Connecticut, Cyprus, District of Columbia, Føroyar, Great Britain, Greenland, Iceland, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ireland, Kentucky, Labrador, Libya, Louisiana, Maine, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Brunswick, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Newfoundland, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ohio, Ontario, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Prince Edward I., Québec, Rhode I., Saskatchewan, South Dakota, South Georgia, Tunisia, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Carum L. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Sp. Pl.: 263 (1753)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.


Flora of Iraq

  • Linnaeus, Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 127 (1754)
  • Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. ed. 1: 263 (1753);

  • Flora of Iraq

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.