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Published In: Novorum Actorum Academiae Caesareae Leopoldinae-Carolinae Naturae Curiosorum 12(1): 101, f. 41. 1824. (Nov. Actorum Acad. Caes. Leop.-Carol. Nat. Cur.) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/4/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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1. Levisticum officinale W.D.J. Koch (lovage)

L. paludapifolium (Lam.) Asch.

Pl. 208 a, b; Map 865

Plants annual. Stems 80–200 cm long, erect or ascending, glabrous, sometimes slightly purplish-tinged. Leaves alternate and sometimes also basal (a few basal leaves occasionally present at flowering), glabrous, often somewhat glaucous, mostly short-petiolate, the sheathing bases not or only slightly inflated. Leaf blades 4–60 cm long, ovate to broadly triangular-ovate in outline, those of the basal and lowermost stem leaves ternately or more commonly pinnately 2 or 3 times compound, the leaflets 30–110 mm long, narrowly oblong to broadly ovate, narrowed at the base, usually coarsely toothed or lobed, the lobes narrowed or tapered to a sharp point at the tip; the leaflets of the median and upper stem leaves progressively reduced, the uppermost leaflets 1 time pinnately compound or lobed, sometimes simple. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, compound umbels, mostly long-stalked, the stalks glabrous or minutely roughened. Involucre of numerous bracts, these shorter than the rays, spreading to reflexed at flowering, lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, with thin, papery margins and sharply pointed tips. Rays 12–20, 0.8–3.0 cm long, roughened. Involucel of numerous bractlets, these mostly longer than the flower stalks, similar to the bracts but smaller. Flowers mostly numerous in each umbellet, the stalks 1–5 mm long, roughened. Sepals absent. Petals obovate, rounded or shallowly notched at the tip, yellow to greenish yellow. Ovaries glabrous. Fruits 4–7 mm long, oblong-elliptic in outline, flattened dorsally, glabrous, dark brown with pale ribs, the mericarps with the lateral and sometimes also the intermediate and dorsal ribs with narrow, corky wings. 2n=22. June–August.

Introduced, uncommon in eastern Missouri (native of Europe; introduced sporadically in the U.S.). Roadsides and open, disturbed areas.

Lovage is cultivated as an herb, for its medicinal, culinary, and other uses. Medicinally it has been used mainly as a sedative and anticonvulsant, and to treat sores. Fruits are sometimes steeped in brandy for use as a digestive aid. The foliage and fruits are used as a flavoring on salads and in baked goods, as well as soups and stews. The aromatic oils also provide fragrance for soaps, bath oils, and potpourri. The common name lovage apparently arose because of the plant’s reputation in folklore as an ingredient in love potions.



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