Apiaceae Lindl.

Helosciadium nodiflorum (L.) W.D.J.Koch

This species is accepted, and its native range is Europe, Medit. to Central Asia and NW. Tanzania.


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

Morphology General Habit
Procumbent or ascending perennial herb, bright shining green, (10–)30–80(–100) cm
Morphology Stem
Stem finely striate throughout, stout or slender, hollow and very brittle, rooting at nodes below
Morphology Leaves
Leaves all simply pinnate, lamina oblong in outline, segments sessile, lanceolate to ovate, in (2–)3–5(–6) pairs, often shallowly lobed but never dissected, regularly serrate or crenate; both leaves and leaflets very variable in size
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Partial umbels with 12–20 small (± 1 mm diameter) white flowers, pedicels 1–3 mm; involucel of 4–6 narrowly ovate or lanceolate bracts which subequal or exceed flowers Umbels all leaf-opposed, sessile or shortly pedunculate; rays 6–12, unequal, 5–25 mm; involucre absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit 1.5–2 mm, broadly ovoid or oblong-ellipsoid, dark when ripe, ribs prominent, pale, narrow
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Styles slender, flexuose, subequalling the shortly conical stylopodia.
In moist places, beside streams, along irrigation channels in gardens; alt. 250–920 m
Flowering and fruiting: May–Jun.
Locally abundant in the moist-steppe zone of Iraq. Much of Europe (particularly in the west to W Russia, Greece), Aegean Isles, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, C Asia (Turkmenistan, Tajikistan), N Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Libya), Macaronesia (Madeira, Canary Is., Azores). Locally naturalized in parts of Africa (Ethiopia), N & S America.


Umbelliferae, C.C. Townsend. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1989

Morphology General Habit
Weak, trailing or ascending perennial, glabrous, rooting at the lower nodes with clusters of white rootlets, 11–80(–100) cm.
Morphology Stem
Stems finely striate, fleshy and fistular, ± 0.3–1.6 cm. in diameter, simple or branched.
Morphology Leaves
Lower and middle stem leaves with the lamina ovate to oblong in outline, 4–40 cm. long, pinnate with 2–6 pairs of sessile leaflets; leaflets lanceolate to ovate, (5–)9–55(–75) × (3.5–)5–20(–40) mm., regularly or irregularly dentate, the terminal in particular sometimes ± lobed; petiole 1.5–12 cm.; sheaths 15–35(–50) mm., narrowly oblong, striate, membranous-margined; upper leaves sessile, shorter, with fewer leaflets.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Umbels leaf-opposed, sessile or shortly (to ± 4 mm.) pedunculate, with 5–10 unequal rays ± 8–30 mm. long; involucre commonly absent, occasionally of up to 3 narrowly lanceolate bracts up to ± 3 mm. long, especially in pedunculate umbels; flowers ± 12–20 in each partial umbel, pedicels (0–)1.5–5 mm.; involucel conspicuous, of 5–7 lanceolate, nervose, acute, pale-margined bracteoles 3–6 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx-teeth obsolete.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals ± 0.75 mm., white.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit ovoid to almost round, laterally compressed, 1.25–2 mm. long, with narrow, prominent, pale primary ribs; stylopodia small, flat; styles slender, ± twice as long as the stylopodia.
In shallow water or on wet mud, in marshes or slow-moving streams or rivers, in the one East African locality “in marshy soil near permanent water, 1660 m.”
T1 widespread in C. and S. Europe, SW. and C. Asia, N. Africa, introduced in N. and S. America;


M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008]

Morphology General Habit
Trailing or ascending glabrous perennial; stems rooting at the lower nodes, up to c. 80 cm long, finely striate, hollow and weak
Morphology Leaves
Leaves 4–40 cm long, pinnate with 2–6 pairs of sessile leaflets; leaflets c. 9–55 x 5–20 mm, dentate or sometimes ± lobed; petiole 1.5–12 cm long
Morphology Leaves Leaf sheaths
Sheaths with membranous margin, the upper leaves reduced to sheaths with a sessile blade of few leaflets
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Umbels sessile or almost so; rays 5–10, c. 8–30 mm long; involucre often absent, occasionally with up to 3 bracts; flowers 12–20 in each partial umbel, on up to 5 mm long pedicels; involucel of 5–7 bracteoles 3–6 mm long, acute, with pale margins
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals c. 0.8 mm long, white
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruits ovoid to almost round, laterally compressed, c. 2 mm long, with pale primary ribs; styles c. twice as long as the flat stylopodia.
N2 North Africa, and in Europe, south-western and central Asia.
Altitude range c. 1500 m.
The two known collections from Somalia are both from the “Medishe” springs at c. 10°47’N, 9°47’E.

Doubtfully present in:

Greece, Kriti, Romania, Yugoslavia

Native to:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Azores, Baleares, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Is., Chad, Corse, Cyprus, East Aegean Is., Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Madeira, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Palestine, Portugal, Sardegna, Saudi Arabia, Sicilia, Somalia, Spain, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Yemen

Introduced into:

Argentina Northeast, Argentina South, California, Chile Central, Chile North, New Jersey, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Pennsylvania, South Carolina

Helosciadium nodiflorum (L.) W.D.J.Koch appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Maitland, T.D. [402], Lebanon Apium nodiflorum K000315663
Bourgeau, E. [813], Canary Is. Apium nodiflorum K001091168

First published in Nova Acta Phys.-Med. Acad. Caes. Leop.-Carol. Nat. Cur. 12(1): 126 (1824)

Accepted by

  • Zuloaga, F.O. & Belgrano, M.J. (eds.) (2019). Flora Argentina. Flora vascular de la República Argentina 20(2): 1-444. INTA, IMBIV & IBODA.

Not accepted by

  • Boulos, L. (2000). Flora of Egypt 2: 1-352. Al Hadara Publishing, Cairo. [Cited as Apium nodiflorum.]
  • Ghazanfar, S.A. & Edmondson, J.R. (eds.) (2013). Flora of Iraq 5(2): 1-349. Ministry of Agriculture & Agrarian Reform, Baghdad. [Cited as Apium nodiflorum.]
  • Townsend, C.C. (1989). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Umbelliferae: 1-127. [Cited as Apium nodiflorum.]


Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Abdulina, S.A. (1999). Spisok Sosudistykn Rastenii Kazakhstana: 1-187. Academy of Sciences, Almaty, Kazakhstan.
  • Authier, P. & Covillot, J. (2011). Catalogue actualisé des plantes de l'île de Rhodes (Grèce) Saussurea; Travaux de la Société Botanique de Genève 41: 131-170.
  • Chukavina, A.P. (ed.) (1984). Flora Tadzhikskoi SSR 7: 1-562. Izd-vo Akademii nauk SSSR, Moskva.
  • Collenette, S. (1999). Wildflowers of Saudi Arabia: 1-799. National commission for wildlife conservation and development (NCWCD), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Davis, P.H. (ed.) (1972). Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands 4: 1-657. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
  • Hedge, I.C., Lamond, J.M. & Rechinger, K.H. (1987). Flora Iranica 162: 1-555. Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, Graz.
  • Lazkov, G.A. & Sultanova, B.A. (2011). Checklist of vascular plants of Kyrgyzstan Norrlinia 24: 1-166.
  • Quézel, P. (1958). Mission Botanique au Tibesti: 1-357. Université d'Alger.
  • Shishkin, B.K. (ed.) (1950). Flora Turkmenii 5: 1-271. Turkmenskoe gosudarstvennoe izd., Ashkhabad.
  • USDA, NRCS ( 2021-continuously updated). Natural Resources Conservation Services Plant Database
  • Van Wyk, B.-E., Tilney, P.M. & Magee, A.R. (2013). African Apiaceae: a synopsis of the Apiaceae/Umbelliferae of Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar: 1- 317. Briza Academic Books, Pretoria.
  • Wood, J.R.I. (1997). A handbook of the Yemen Flora: 1-434. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Zuloaga, F.O., Morrone, O. , Belgrano, M.J., Marticorena, C. & Marchesi, E. (eds.) (2008). Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 107: 1-3348. Missouri Botanical Garden.

  • Flora of Iraq

  • Flora of Somalia

    Flora of Somalia

  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • 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.

  • Kew Science Photographs

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew