Scandix pecten-veneris L.

First published in Sp. Pl.: 256 (1753)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Europe, Macaronesia to NW. India. It is an annual and grows primarily in the temperate biome.


Extinction risk predictions for the world's flowering plants to support their conservation (2024). Bachman, S.P., Brown, M.J.M., Leão, T.C.C., Lughadha, E.N., Walker, B.E.

Predicted extinction risk: not threatened. Confidence: confident

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

Morphology General Habit
Erect, branched, 20–50 cm, almost glabrous to sparingly hairy or with the stem ± densely and shortly spreading-hairy; stem and branches ± deeply sulcate
Morphology Leaves
Lower leaves long-petiolate, upper sessile, all with broad sheaths furnished with membranous, long-ciliate margins Leaves all similar but reducing in size upwards, narrowly deltoid or oblong in outline, tripinnate with short, narrowly linear segments, margins scabrid or smooth
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Peduncles
Peduncles 1.5–8 cm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Umbels with 1–3 stout rays, sometimes true compound umbels with no involucre, sometimes apparently one or more rays being leafless branches since their point of junction is subtended by a true leaf; rays 0.6–2 cm long when in ripe fruit Partial umbels 3–10-flowered, petals inconspicuously radiate, outer flowers ± 2 mm in diameter
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracteoles
Bracteoles 5, broadly lanceolate, simple or bifid or trifid above, ciliate-margined
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pedicel
Pedicels becoming incrassate and flattened, mostly to 2 mm long in ripe fruit
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fertile part of fruits 7–15 mm long, linear, shortly hispid; beak 28–50 mm, long, flattened and tapering, keel scabrid
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stylopodium
Stylopodia very small, disk shortly cylindrical with a crenate edge above; styles short, often less than 1 mm, thick, persistent.
In the mountains on grassy places among shrubs and trees, shady spots in oakwoods on limestone, in fields in the valleys etc., hillsides, and fields on the upper plain, fields, gardens and ditches on irrigated alluvial plain; up to alt. 700–1100(–1600) m or more
Flowering and fruiting: Mar./Apr.–May/Jun.
Common in the lower forest zone and steppe region of Iraq, also on the irrigated alluvial plain in the desert region. W, C & Mediterranean Europe to W Russia, Crimea, Cyprus, Aegean Isles, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, NE Mediterranean Egypt, Turkey, Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, C. Asia (Turkmenistan to Siberia), Kashmir, N Africa (Morocco to Libya). Introduced in many other parts of the world, including S Africa, Tasmania and N America.
Venus’ Comb, Shepherd’s Needle; MINQĀR AL-LAQLAQ (“stork’s beak”), Ir., Guest 1118, 1802) or HALQ AL-LAQLAQ (“stork’s throat”), Ir., id.) or sometimes HALQ HĀJI LAQLAQ (“stork, the pilgrim’s throat”) (Guest 1933); KAIZANŪK (Kurd.-Amadiya, Majid Mustafa in Guest 1254); ?SŌLAQA (Kurd.-Pers., Mandali, Guest 1802).


Schischkin (1950) sums up the economic importance of this plant as “a weed, mainly of spring crops” – to which we have nothing to add.

Common Names

Shepherd's Needle


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