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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Apiaceae | Cuminum

Cuminum cyminum Linn.


Description from Flora of China

Plants 10–30(–50) cm. Basal petioles 1–2 cm, sheaths lanceolate, margins white and membranous; blade 3–8 × 2–7 cm; ultimate divisions long-filiform, 15–60 × 0.4–0.7 mm. Umbels many, 2–3 cm across; peduncles 3–10 cm; bracts 2–6(–8), linear or linear-lanceolate, 10–50 × 0.5–1.2 mm, unequal, entire or apex 2–3-fid, usually longer than the rays, margins membranous; rays (1–)3–6, 3–20 mm, rather stout, very unequal; bracteoles 3–5, similar to bracts, 4–10 × 0.3–0.6 mm, very unequal, sometimes reflexed; umbellules 3–8-flowered; pedicels 3–6 mm, stout, very unequal. Calyx teeth 0.5–2 mm, longer than the styles. Petals ca. 1.4 × 1 mm. Fruit 5–7 × 1.6–2.8 mm; primary ribs short setulose, secondary ribs densely stellate setulose. Fl. and fr. Feb–Jun(–Sep).

The aromatic fruits (cumin) are used as a flavoring, to aid digestion, and are of reputed medicinal value. This species is widely cultivated in favorable climates outside its presumed native range. It readily escapes and becomes more or less naturalized locally in many areas.

Cultivated. Xinjiang [possibly native to SW Asia and the Mediterranean region].


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