UPRIGHT HEDGE-PARSLEY

Torilis japonica

Carrot Family [Apiaceae]

month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
flower
flower8pink
flower
flower8red
inner
inner8red
morph
morph8actino
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZumbel
stem
stem8round

5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
One of the three common hedgerow umbellifers: the last to flower between Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) and Rough Chervil (Chaerophyllum temulum).


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Grows up to 1.2m high on hedgebanks, scrub and woodland edges including beside forestry tracks. Has stiffer stems than either Cow Parsley or Rough Chervil


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Upper half - by silhouette. Stems quite thin but stiff. A small leaf at every branching, which are larger the lower down the stem. Umbels with maybe between 5 to 9 umbellets. Both umbels and umbellules have bracts (narrow linear).


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Usually with bracts underneath the umbel and sub-umbels, but the bracts are often just underneath the 'spokes' of the umbels and therefore usually hidden from view.


9th Aug 2012, Allithwaite, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Umbels between 20 to 40mm across.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
With insect showing the small size of the umbels.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Flowers white or pink.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
An umbellule of flowers with bracts underneath and closely following the flower stalks, as if stalking it...


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Tiny flowers maybe 3 or 4mm across, most actinomorphic, only the outer ones slightly zygomorphic.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Flowers are white or pink with 5 red anthers.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
At first the stamens curve over within folds in the petals holing the anther upside down, ready to spring out and high on filaments.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
The flower unfolds ready to allow the stamens with in-rolled red anthers to spring outwards and upwards.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Anthers deep red, like those on Water-dropworts such as Hemlock Water-Dropwort.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
The fruit develops behind the flower.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
The petals drop off the top revealing the fruits underneath, which appear brown, but actually are a mixture of red and green (making a muddy brown). Narrow linear bracts can be seen underneath umbels and umbellules.


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The fruits are barrel-shaped and are surrounded by vertical rows of spines.


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The fruits have ridges along which the spines emerge. Two magenta-coloured styles splayed-out at 180° can be seen sitting atop of the fruit.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
An umbellet of fruits.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
The white and red spines on the fruits are curved inwards like horns, and taper towards the tip which. Your Author thinks the white triangular shapes at the summit are the sepals of the flowers (not all umbellifers have sepals).


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
The curved spines are covered in very short white teeth. The sharpened tip of each spine is transparent. One of the styles (with a black termination) is seen at the summit, bent over towards the viewer and to the left.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
The bristly hairs on the stem are shorter than the spines on the fruit, are transparent white and devoid of the short white teeth as on fruit spines.


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Both stems, stalks and leaves have forwardly-appressed white bristly hairs giving it a slight rough feel. Uppermost leaf: A neat tightly-pinnate curving over gracefully. The roughness of each spine on the fruit is presumably to aid its translocation by attaching to the fur of passing animals. It seems to work; if you find one plant, you may find them scattered about the area too.


9th Aug 2012, Allithwaite, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Upper leaf: 1-3 pinnate leaves, the lower ones more likely to be 3-pinnate, the uppermost just 1-pinnate.


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Upper leaf: Tightly appressed forwardly-directed short bristly hairs. Hairs on leaf-edges too.


9th Aug 2012, Allithwaite, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Not-inflated bracts at each junction.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Lower leaves are larger and up to 3-pinnate.


31st July 2015, Wiseman Hey Plantation, Ladybower Resr, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Lower leaf: The plant is greyish-green.


Not to be semantically confused with : Parsley Fern [plants with similar names belonging to differing families] nor to Garden Parsley, Fool's Parsley, Cow Parsley, Parsley Water-Dropwort, Slender Parsley-piert, Milk-Parsley, Stone Parsley, [plants with similar names and in the same family]

Many similarities to other Hedge-parsleys :

  • Knotted Hedge-parsley (Torilis nodosa) but that is quite rare [RR] and somewhat shorter at just 50cm, the leaves are only 1-2 pinnate (not the 1-3 of Upright Hedge-parsley) and has more or less straight spines on the fruit but the apex taper is somewhat hooked instead. Un-like Upright Hedge-parsley this plant is not native, but is instead an archaeophyte. The flowers are somewhat zygomorhic (instead of actinomorphic to hemi-zygomprphic of Upright Hedge-parsley) and the fruits at 2.5-3.5mm long are slightly longer than the 2.0-2.5mm of Upright Hedge-parsley, This species is most recognisable by the flowers (and henceforth the fruit) being at or underneath leaf junctions, which is most unusual for an umbellifer. This too is native.
  • Spreading Hedge-parsley (Torilis arvensis) but this is instead procumbent to ascending, with the leaves again being just 1-2 pinnate (and not 1-3), the petals are actinomorphic not hemi-zygomorphic, and the fruits, at 3-4mm, are longer than either of the other two.

A SESQUITERPENOID

Upright Hedge-parsley produces the poisonous sesquiterpenoid Torilin which is based upon an Azulene skeleton. Torilin is a potent 5-α-reductase inhibitor, which is an enzyme responsible for converting Testosterone into DHT (DiHyroTestosterone) by adding an extra hydrogen atom to Testosterone, thereby replacing the only double bond with a single bond. It may have medical applications.


  Torilis japonica  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Apiaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carrot family8Apiaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Torilis
Torilis
(Hedge-Parsleys)

UPRIGHT HEDGE-PARSLEY

Torilis japonica

Carrot Family [Apiaceae]