Skip to main content
  1. Family: Apiaceae Lindl.
    1. Heracleum L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and is native to Asia-Tropical, Europe, Africa, Northern America and Asia-Temperate..


    Umbelliferae, C.C. Townsend. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1989

    Perennial or biennial herbs, dwarf to gigantic, glabrous or more frequently ± densely furnished with unicellular, simple and subglandular hairs
    Leaves simple and lobed to 1–2-pinnately or ternately divided with usually broad, dentate-incised to pinnatifid segments; sheaths often large, soft
    Umbels numerous, compound, pedunculate; involucre present or absent; involucel usually of numerous narrow bracteoles
    Flowers polygamous
    Calyx-teeth present, small and usually deciduous
    Petals white to creamy, greenish or pink, the outer petals of the outer partial umbels slightly to very conspicuously radiate, the inner with an inflexed tip
    Fruit very strongly dorsally compressed with thickened marginal wings and 3 filiform but often quite prominent dorsal ribs, glabrous to hairy; stylopodia conical, from a broad crenate-margined discoid base; vittae solitary in the valleculae, 0–2 on the commissure, slender to clavate, usually reaching most of the way down each mericarp but sometimes short; carpophore deeply bifid
    Endosperm very flattened, shallowly rounded dorsally or sulcate at the vittae, flat or slightly concave centrally on the commissural face.

    Umbelliferae, J. F. M. Cannon. Flora Zambesiaca 4. 1978

    Perennial, biennial or annual herbs.
    Leaves pinnately divided, usually with broad segments.
    Umbels compound; bracts 0; bracteoles several.
    Calyx teeth minute or obsolete, unequal.
    Petals white (sometimes flushed with pink, especially in bud), often markedly unequal and radiate, those on the outer margin of the umbel being much larger than those on the inside, the whole umbel therefore tending to function like a capitulum in attracting insects, although the individual flowers remain quite distinct.
    Fruit orbicular to broadly obovate, very strongly dorsally compressed, with a broad commissure. Marginal ridges expanded to form a broad wing, the dorsal ones filiform; wings somewhat thickened and closely appressed to those of the opposing mericarp.
    Vittae solitary in the intervals, clearly visible from the exterior, and tending to be club-shaped, narrowing towards the base, with 2 in the commissural face.



    Native to:

    Afghanistan, Alaska, Albania, Aleutian Is., Algeria, Altay, Amur, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Buryatiya, Central European Rus, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Colorado, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East European Russia, East Himalaya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Illinois, India, Inner Mongolia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Japan, Kamchatka, Kazakhstan, Kentucky, Kenya, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Krym, Kuril Is., Lebanon-Syria, Malawi, Manchuria, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Mexico, New York, North Caucasus, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Primorye, Qinghai, Romania, Sakhalin, Sicilia, Spain, Sudan, Sumatera, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania, Tennessee, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Tuva, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vermont, Vietnam, West Himalaya, West Siberia, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yugoslavia, Zaïre

    Introduced into:

    Argentina South, Haiti, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Sweden

    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Heracleum L. appears in other Kew resources:


    First published in Sp. Pl.: 249 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Tutin, T.G. & al. (eds.) (1968). Flora Europaea 2: 1-469. Cambridge University Press.


    Flora Zambesiaca

    • Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 118 (1754).
    • Sp. Pl. 1: 249 (1753)

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 118 (1754)
    • Sp. Pl.: 249 (1753)


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.