Umbels

What can I say? In this season of flowers, I’ve got to show them to the world. But it’s hard to say why I find them beautiful. They are appealing to the eye, even at their most prolific, but especially when they appear in the most unexpected of places.

But beyond the aesthetic, flowers are the bridge between two realms – the plant world and the animal world. And so, for that reason, I dedicate this post to the umbels of the garden. Umbels, so called because of the umbrella-like shape of the flowers, belong to the family Apiaceae (formerly Umbelliferae). And, as belied by their current family name, their flowers are favorites of all manner of pollinators, including bees.

05222017 umbel parsley 1
Parsley, like most of the umbels, is a biennial – it flowers in the second year and then dies back.
05022017 cilantro 1
Cilantro is one of the first umbels to bloom – early May in this case. I let it reseed, so hope to have another flush in early fall.

What are the umbels? They are the carrot family: celery, dill, fennel, parsley, cilantro, parsnip. Queen Anne’s Lace is also known as wild carrot or white carrot. Khella (Ammi visnaga) is an Old World native that is purported to have medicinal properties.

06112017 khella
Khella, tessellates itself into an ever-fractalizing Fibonacci spiral.
06112017 parsnip
Parsnip, the majestic. This stands about 6′. A stacked multiplex attracting pollinators from all quadrants.
06112017 queen annes lace
Queen Anne’s Lace and her itinerant beetles and wasps. To taste the nectar through their umwelt.

 

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