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Trachyspermum Link
Mark F. Watson
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Annuals or perennials, stems erect and corymbosely branched. Leaves 2–3-pinnate, ultimate segments filiform; petioles narrowly sheathing at base. Umbels compound, bracts and bracteoles linear. Calyx teeth obsolete. Petals white, obovate emarginate or acuminate and inflexed at apex. Stylopodium domed; styles reflexed in fruit. Fruit broadly ellipsoid, slightly compressed laterally, mericarps densely covered with fine short hairs or papillae, 5-ribbed, ribs scarcely prominent. 
Key to species
1 Stems, leaves and inflorescences puberulent, fruits densely so T. anethifolium
+ Stems, leaves and inflorescences essentially glabrous, fruits minutely papillose T. ammi

Trachyspermum anethifolium (D.Don) H.Wolff
    Carum anethifolium (D.Don) C.B.Clarke
Perennial, stems 40–75cm, whole plant densely puberulent. Leaves to 6.5cm, ultimate segments to 15 x 0.3mm. Umbelsc 5cm across, 19–28-rayed; rays 1.3–3cm; bracts 5–8, linear-subulate, 5–7mm; umbellules 7–12mm across, 17–30-flowered; pedicels 0.2–5mm, unequal; bracteoles 8–10, linear, 2–3mm. Petals c 1.2 x 0.8mm, finely pubescent on the reverse. Fruits 1.2–1.5 x 1.2–1.5mm, densely puberulent. 

Bhutan: C—Thimphu district (Thimphu), Punakha district (Chusom to Samtengang, Wangdu Phodrang) and Tashigang district (Tashigang). 

Ecology: Dry, open grassy hillsides, 1050–2300m. Flowers October–November. 

Specimen List [14493]

Trachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague
    Trachyspermum copticum (L.) Link
    Carum copticum C.B.Clarke
Very similar to T. anethifolium but an essentially glabrous annual; umbels 2.5–5cm across, fewer (6–20) rayed; rays 1–3cm; umbellules c 1cm across, ca 20-flowered; pedicels 0.5–4mm; fruits densely covered in whitish minute papillae. 

Bhutan: S—Phuntsholing district (Torsa River).
Sikkim: Tista River. 

Ecology: Moist shingle, 200–300m. May–June. 

Specimen List [14492]

Note: Extensively cultivated in S and SW Asia as a spice, presumed native to India.

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