(sea holly; family Apiaceae)
A genus of shrubby, often spiny, perennial herbs which are unlike the characteristic umbellifers in appearance. The lobed or deeply cut leaves are toothed and without stipules. The sessile flowers are held in a dense head surrounded by leafy, spiky, and showy bracts. The calyx teeth are often sharp, rigid, and longer than the petals. The 5 petals are narrow and notched, with free stamens and an inferior ovary with 2 unilocular carpels. The fruit is a 2-celled schizocarp which splits into 2 single-seeded fruits. There are about 230 species, found in temperate and tropical regions, where they are often found in arid conditions.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.