Description from Flora of China
Herbs biennial. Stem solitary erect, branching, retrorsely hispid. Basal leaves petiolate; blade pinnately decompound, ultimate segments small and narrow. Leaves reduced upwards becoming sessile, wholly sheathing, divisions narrow and elongate. Umbels terminal and axillary, loosely compound; bracts numerous, pinnate, rarely entire, usually reflexed; rays numerous, spreading or incurved after anthesis, tightly compact in fruit; bracteoles numerous, toothed or entire; umbellules many-flowered, central flowers usually sterile with enlarged purple petals. Pedicels unequal. Calyx teeth obsolete to conspicuous. Petals white or yellow, obcordate, with an inflexed apex, outer petals in outer flowers of an umbellule enlarged and radiant. Stylopodium conic; styles short. Fruit ellipsoid, dorsally compressed; primary ribs filiform, bristly; secondary ribs winged, wings with glochidiate prickles; vittae 1 in furrows under the secondary ribs, 2 on commissure. Seed face shallowly concave to nearly plane. Carpophore entire or bifid at apex. (Generic description relates to Chinese taxa only.)
About 20 species: N Africa, SW Asia, Europe; cultivated and adventive worldwide in temperate regions; one species in China.
(Authors: She Menglan (佘孟兰 Sheh Meng-lan); Mark F. Watson)