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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Apiaceae | Levisticum

Levisticum officinale Koch


Description from Flora of China

Ligusticum levisticum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 250. 1753; Hipposelinum levisticum (Linnaeus) Britton & Rose; Selinum levisticum (Linnaeus) E. H. L. Krause.

Plants 1–2.5 m, aromatic. Rhizome stout, 4–5 cm thick. Stem purplish green, lower branches alternate, upper branches opposite or whorled. Basal and lower leaves long-petiolate, sheaths purple-red; blade broadly-triangular-ovate, 2–3-pinnate, pinnae all petiolulate; ultimate segments obovate or rhombic-ovate, 4–11 × 2–7 cm, 2–3-lobed, with a few coarse teeth. Umbels ca. 12 cm across; bracts 7–11, lanceolate, reflexed, scabrous, white-scarious-margined; rays 12–20, subequal; bracteoles 8–11, similar to bracts. Fruit brown, 5–7 × 3–4 mm. Fl. Jun–Aug, fr. Aug–Sep. n = 11.

This species was introduced to China in 1957. It is used as a substitute for the traditional Chinese medicine “dang gui” (see Angelica sinensis) and for flavoring. The young shoots and leaves can be eaten as a vegetable.

Widely cultivated; 100–600 m. Hebei, Henan, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi [native to SW Asia and Europe].


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