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Genus: Sium (Water parsnip genus)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids > Euasterid II > Order: Apiales > Family: Apiaceae

A cosmopolitan genus with 14 species. One species is native to southern Africa and another two species are cultivated.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Sium repandum

Recorded from Zimbabwe. See Flora of Zimbabwe.

Species cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Sium latifolium (Greater water Parsnip)

Indigenous from Europe through to Siberia. Picture and account in Pooley (1998 p. 296) and van Wyk & Malan (1997) p. 94.

Sium sisarum (Skirret)

Indigenous from Europe through to central Asia. In its native distribution, roots are eaten and used as a coffee substitute.


  • Burtt, B.L. 1991. Umbelliferae of southern Africa: an introduction and annotated checklist. Edinburgh Journal of Botany 48: 133-282.

  • Pooley, E. 1998. A Field Guide to Wild Flowers KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.

  • van Wyk, B. & Malan, S. 1997. Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Highveld. 2nd edition. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.


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