Herbs with hollow stems. The umbellate inflorescence—the general character of the order-gives rise to its name. The fruit, called a cremocarp (from cremao, to support, and karpos, fruit), is perhaps the most marked characteristic of the order; it originates from one ovary surmounted by 2 styles and often crowned by the limb of the calyx, and has 2 cells and 2 seeds. The entire fruit is usually ellipsoidal, but in the case of the coriander it is spherical; it divides itself into two mericarps (half-fruits) suspended by their summits from a slender axis (carpophore) , usually 2-forked; each mericarp has 5 to 10 more or less prominent ridges (juga), in the furrows or grooves between which are several oil-tubes (vittae), usually visible in cross-section; in anise there are usually 15, in coriander 2. The roots contain an abundance of aromatic resin.
A Manual of Organic Materia Medica and Pharmacognosy, 1917, was written by Lucius E. Sayre, B.S. Ph. M.