Information on Alexanders

Common Name: Alexanders
Scientific Name: Smyrnium olusatrum
Irish Name: Lusrán grándubh
Family Group: Apiaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Alexanders could sometimes be confused with:

Angelica, Wild,

This is a tall, glabrous perennial with a pungent smell not unlike that of wild celery.  Its distinctive, dark green, shiny leaves consist of three broad, oval, toothed leaves and the terminal leaf is also three-lobed. The flowers are greenish-yellow in umbels 4-6cm across, with 8-12 rays and are seen from February to June.  The fruits are globular and strongly ridged. Alexanders can grow up to over 1m high.  Now considered to be a native Irish plant, having been introduced prior to 1500 AD, it is widely naturalised, particularly near the coast. It belongs to the family Apiaceae.

I first identified this plant in some woodland near Wellingtonbridge, Co Wexford in 2007 and photographed it at that location. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please record your sighting for the 2010 wildflower mapping survey at http://www.biology.ie/home.php?m=wildflowers  

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Alexanders
Alexanders

This plant came to us from the Mediterranean. The name refers to Alexander the Great and the plant is thought to have been used by him and brought to the British Isles by the Romans.  It is now widely used as a potherb.  Alexanders  attracts insects in early spring when few other species are flowering.