LOVAGE

GARDEN LOVAGE

Levisticum officinale

Carrot Family [Apiaceae]

month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZneophyte
 
flower
flower8green
 
inner
inner8cream
 
morph
morph8hemizygo
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
type
typeZumbel
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8ribbed
 
smell
smell8celery
celery
toxicity
toxicityZlowish
 
sex
sexZbisexual
 

Photo: © RWD
The thicker the stem, the higher it gets.


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Just obscuring a chimney on the right of centre is a stem over 2m high but the thicker stem far right at the top must be over 3m high. The fruits are yellow and are derived from the bisexual flowers which have now turned to fruit in these photos; the male flower umbels cannot turn to fruit and are far fewer and smaller and pale cream in colour..


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The thicker stem top far-right must be over 3m high! The leaves are trullate (shaped like a brick-layers trowel, but with a few cuts) to rhombic (shaped like a diamond as in the Ace of Diamonds playing card). They are in 3's or more.


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The best your Author could do with the highest branch is to take a silhouette against the sky.


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The shorter stems were more accessible, given that your Author couldn't walk into someone's garden. I had guessed that this was Lovage but at the time didn't realise (until I read the book) that there are in fact two kinds of Lovage, which are in differing genera. This is just Lovage aka Garden Lovage, and is planted in gardens where it grows to twice the height of Scot's Lovage being the real Lovage (which grows wild only in Scotland).


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The branches are in opposite pairs with a central extensions bearing another umbel.


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The yellow-green umbels and darker ones have turned to fruits. The smaller and paler cream umbels are of male flowers (which cannot turn to fruit).


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Top left, umbellets of the fruit, which is 5 to 7mm long and yellowish-green. These still have the stamens attached. Bottom right, the small and un-opened male-only flowers which cannot turn to fruit.


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The small and un-opened male-only flowers which cannot turn to fruit. Their 5 petals are incurved looking like the negative terminal of a PP9 9V battery. A lone stamen is visible at the top.


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
An umbel of umbellets of fruits. They are yellow-green including the stylopodium atop. The styles are short and off-white, splaying apart or recurved. The bracts below the main umbel are deflexed (directed downwards), linear-lanceolate and scarious (with pale edges).


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The fruit, top view of stylopodium and styles (with a few straggly stamens still hanging on).


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are trullate (shaped like a brick-layers trowel, but with a few cuts) to rhombic (shaped like a diamond as in the Ace of Diamonds playing card). They are in 3's or more.


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Lovage has a semblance to Garden Angelica but Lovage has these shapes of leaves, yellowish flowers and the stigmas which are flat on top rather than capitate (having a tiny bobble on top).


10th July 2019, a garden, New Mills, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD


Not to be semantically confused with : the native Scots Lovage (Ligusticum scoticum) [a plant with similar name] but which is in a differing but similar sounding (Ligusticum genus), grows in Scotland and has somewhat similarly shaped leaves but to a height of just 90cm (not 3m).

Slight resemblance to : Garden Angelica (Angelica archangelica) but Lovage has diamond-shaped leaves which have no teeth on the two straight edges joining the leaf stalk, yellowish flowers, and the stigmas which are flat on top rather than capitate (having a tiny bobble on top).

Lovage smells similar to celery when crushed. It is a garden plant which sometimes escapes on paths, besides walls, or in rough ground, but does not persist.


  Levisticum officinale  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Apiaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carrot family8Apiaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Levisticum
Levisticum
(Lovage)

LOVAGE

GARDEN LOVAGE

Levisticum officinale

Carrot Family [Apiaceae]