Umbels galore

Walking at the moment you can’t help but notice umbels.

In botany, an umbel is an inflorescence that consists of a number of short flower stalks which spread from a common point, somewhat like umbrella ribs. The word was coined in botanical usage in the 1590s, from Latin umbella “parasol, sunshade”. The arrangement can vary from being flat-topped to almost spherical.

Apiaceae or Umbelliferae is a family of mostly aromatic flowering plants named after the type genus Apium and commonly known as the celery, carrot or parsley family, or simply as umbellifers. It is the 16th-largest family of flowering plants, with more than 3,700 speciesin 434 genera

The cow parsley that has been in flower for the past few weeks is now finishing and seed heads are developing

Insects are attracted to the tops of these umbels and often on a warm day they become tables of insect visitors.

The winter skeletons of umbels look beautiful covered in frost .

This group of plants contains poisonous varieties such as hemlock and photochemical reactions such as giant hogweed. Be carefully not to touch hogweed the sap in the sun will cause terrible blistering to the skin.

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