Parsley Water-dropwort, a rare wetland umbellifer
Latin name: Oenanthe lachenalii
Parsley Water-dropwort is an umbellifer with white-pink flowers and a ridged, hairless stem. Unlike other umbellifers, the leaves of this species have long and narrow leaflets, with the basal leaves being twice pinnate and the stem leaves only once pinnate. The plant grows to 80cm in height with a solid, ridged, and hairless stem supporting the impressive inflorescences. The white-pink flowers are arranged in compound umbels made up of 6-15 rays.
Parsley Water-dropwort is found in base-rich habitats such as marshes, fen-meadows, and damp grasslands. It also grows in coastal marshes and fens, the only species of water-dropwort to do so.
Distribution and threats
Parsley Water-dropwort is distributed widely around the coastline of Great Britain and is listed as Least Concern in the Red Data Book for Great Britain. However, this species is declining in inland sites due to drainage and landfill, resulting in this species now being listed as Near Threatened in England. This species is also listed as a rare plant in Oxfordshire, with only three site records in the county since 2010.