Myrrhis odorata (L) Scop. Sweet Cicely
Myrrhis : from Greek, myrra (myrrh), from perfume.
odorata : scented.
Cicely : from Greek, seseli. Dioscorides.
OTHER NAMES : British myrrh, sweet chervil, great chervil, smooth cicely, sweet fern,
sweet humlock, sheperds needle. Anise, (Dur). Wilanise, annaseed, myrrh, (Cumb).
Cowweed, sweet cis, (Yks). Myrrh, (Aberdeen). Roman plant, switch, (Lancs). Sweet
bracken, (Lakes). Sweet thumlick, (Berw) . Sweet withy, (1 o W). Sweets, (N Eng).
Cerfeuil dEspagne, (France). Mirride odorosa, (Italy). Perifolio, (Spain). Englisher/ Spanischer
kerbie, (Germany). Roomse kervel, (Dutch). Sodskaerm, (Danish).
TYPE: stout erect puberulent bright green perenn ial, 60200cm. Hs. AROMA : fruit & leaves stron gly of aniseed/clove if crushed. Taste sugary.ROOTS : large. fleshy, sweet, aromatic. SHOOTS : triangular lacey
leaves with a simple wing coming up from each side of its root. UMBELS : compound. Gracefull heads. 15 cm diam, terminal, rays 510,
hairy. Terminal umbel with male and hermaphrodite flowers, stout rays, lateral
with male only with slender rays.LEAVES : up to 30cm. 23 pinnate, gale beneath, usually with whitish markings, segments
oblongovate, pinnatisect. The lobes coarsely serrate,1030rnm. Petioles of stem leaves
sheathing. Leafless in winter. Cotyledons tapered at. base, without a petiole.BRACTS: absent. Bracteoles 5, lancolatearistate, with long slender apex, whitish.FLOWERS: white, petals unequal, outer radiating. Styles form stylopodium. Polin. by bees. Fl. 57.FRUIT : 1525mm linearoblong, short beak, sharply angled with short forward pointing
bristles on the angles, dark brown, mature shiny. Commisure broad, carpophore present.
Vittae slender. Pedicels 5mm, sparsley hairy. Styles slender, diver ging, much > than
stylopodium. Patent or recur ved in fruit. Stigma capitate. 2n=22.
HABITAT : damp pastures, meadows, roadsides, wood margins, scrub,
streamsides in uplands & mountains.
DISTRIBUTION : intro. Commonest spring flrng Umbellifer in N. Britain from Glam to Licoln.
Rare in S. Most common at Selattyn roadside verges. Rare over Offas Dyke in England,
a cultural boundary. Outside doors of Cregneash Manx museum, Isle Of Man. Common
in Pyreness, Alps, Appenines in France. Naturalised in Germany. Also in W. part of Balklans.