Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Anethum graveolens
(dill)

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Datasheet

Anethum graveolens (dill)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 06 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Anethum graveolens
  • Preferred Common Name
  • dill
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Anethum graveolens is an annual herb with a long history of cultivation since ancient Egyptian times for culinary and medicinal uses (

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Anethum graveolens (dill); dill is occasionally cultivated in the Flathead Valley (Montana, USA) where it may be expected to escape. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.
TitleHabit
CaptionAnethum graveolens (dill); dill is occasionally cultivated in the Flathead Valley (Montana, USA) where it may be expected to escape. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.
Copyright©Prof Matt Lavin-2011/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Anethum graveolens (dill); dill is occasionally cultivated in the Flathead Valley (Montana, USA) where it may be expected to escape. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.
HabitAnethum graveolens (dill); dill is occasionally cultivated in the Flathead Valley (Montana, USA) where it may be expected to escape. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.©Prof Matt Lavin-2011/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Anethum graveolens (dill); dill is occasionally cultivated in the Flathead Valley (Montana, USA) where it may be expected to escape. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.
TitleHabit
CaptionAnethum graveolens (dill); dill is occasionally cultivated in the Flathead Valley (Montana, USA) where it may be expected to escape. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.
Copyright©Prof Matt Lavin-2011/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Anethum graveolens (dill); dill is occasionally cultivated in the Flathead Valley (Montana, USA) where it may be expected to escape. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.
HabitAnethum graveolens (dill); dill is occasionally cultivated in the Flathead Valley (Montana, USA) where it may be expected to escape. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.©Prof Matt Lavin-2011/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Anethum graveolens (dill); habit, showing the leaves which are dissected into many narrow segments. Flathead Valley, nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.
TitleLeaves
CaptionAnethum graveolens (dill); habit, showing the leaves which are dissected into many narrow segments. Flathead Valley, nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.
Copyright©Prof Matt Lavin-2011/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Anethum graveolens (dill); habit, showing the leaves which are dissected into many narrow segments. Flathead Valley, nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.
LeavesAnethum graveolens (dill); habit, showing the leaves which are dissected into many narrow segments. Flathead Valley, nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.©Prof Matt Lavin-2011/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Anethum graveolens (dill); flowers. The involucre and involucel are lacking. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USDA. August 2011.
TitleFlowers
CaptionAnethum graveolens (dill); flowers. The involucre and involucel are lacking. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USDA. August 2011.
Copyright©Prof Matt Lavin-2011/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Anethum graveolens (dill); flowers. The involucre and involucel are lacking. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USDA. August 2011.
FlowersAnethum graveolens (dill); flowers. The involucre and involucel are lacking. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USDA. August 2011.©Prof Matt Lavin-2011/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Anethum graveolens (dill); underside of umbel, flowers. The involucre and involucel are lacking. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.
TitleFlowers
CaptionAnethum graveolens (dill); underside of umbel, flowers. The involucre and involucel are lacking. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.
Copyright©Prof Matt Lavin-2011/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Anethum graveolens (dill); underside of umbel, flowers. The involucre and involucel are lacking. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.
FlowersAnethum graveolens (dill); underside of umbel, flowers. The involucre and involucel are lacking. Nr Kalispell, Montana, USA. August 2011.©Prof Matt Lavin-2011/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Anethum graveolens (dill); seed-head. Olinda, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2009.
TitleSeed-head
CaptionAnethum graveolens (dill); seed-head. Olinda, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Anethum graveolens (dill); seed-head. Olinda, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2009.
Seed-headAnethum graveolens (dill); seed-head. Olinda, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Anethum graveolens (dill); seed head. Olinda, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2009.
TitleSeed-head
CaptionAnethum graveolens (dill); seed head. Olinda, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Anethum graveolens (dill); seed head. Olinda, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2009.
Seed-headAnethum graveolens (dill); seed head. Olinda, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Anethum graveolens L.

Preferred Common Name

  • dill

Other Scientific Names

  • Anethum arvense Salisb.
  • Anethum sowa Roxb. ex Fleming
  • Ferula graveolens (L.) Spreng.
  • Peucedanum anethum Jess.
  • Peucedanum graveolens (L.) Hiern
  • Peucedanum sowa (Roxb. ex Fleming) Kurz
  • Selinum anethum Roth
  • Selinum graveolens (L.) Vest

International Common Names

  • English: garden dill
  • Spanish: anis aleman; eneldo
  • French: aneth; aneth odorant; fenouil batard; fenouil puant
  • Chinese: shi luo
  • Portuguese: endro

Local Common Names

  • : bisbas
  • Czech Republic: kopor vonavý; kopr vonný
  • Dominican Republic: hinojo; inojo
  • Estonia: aedtill
  • Germany: Dill, Garten-; Gurkenkraut
  • Greece: anethon
  • India: sowa
  • Indonesia: adas manis; adas sowa; ender
  • Italy: aneto odoroso; oneto
  • Laos: phak s'i
  • Latvia: smaržig
  • Lesser Antilles: fenouil bâtard; lami dill
  • Lithuania: paprastasis krapas
  • Malaysia: adas china; adas pudus; ender
  • Myanmar: European dill; Indian dill; sameik; samin
  • Netherlands: dille
  • Panama: anisillo dill
  • Portugal: anetho; aneto; endrâo; endro maior; endro ordinario
  • Puerto Rico: dill-weed
  • Russian Federation: ukrop
  • Spain: abezón doméstico; anega; anella; anet pudent; anetaverón; avezón doméstico; eneldo viscoso; fenoll bord; fenoll pudent; fonoll pudent; hinojo hediondo; onet
  • Thailand: phakchi lao; thian-khaopluak; thian-tatakkataen

EPPO code

  • AFEGR (Anethum graveolens)
  • AFESO (Anethum sowa)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Anethum graveolens is an annual herb with a long history of cultivation since ancient Egyptian times for culinary and medicinal uses (Jana and Shekhawat, 2010). It is listed in the Global Compendium of Weeds as an “agricultural weed, casual alien, cultivation escape, environmental weed, garden thug, naturalised, sleeper weed, weed” (Randall, 2012). Although no PIER risk assessment was made for the species, it is known to be invasive in Cuba (Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012) and was included in a list of invasive species in Spain and Lithuania (Randall, 2012). It is also an adventive species in many parts of the world, including much of Eastern Europe, parts of Western Europe, North America, the West Indies, Mexico and Central America (Liogier and Martorell, 2000; Hand, 2011; USDA-ARS, 2015). It grows subspontaneously in Brazil (Forzza et al., 2010) and is occasionally spontaneous after escaping cultivation in Puerto Rico (Liogier and Martorell, 2000), is common in Florida and a roadside weed in the northeastern USA (Stephens, 2012). It is also known as a cultivation escape in Austria, Panama, and California, USA (Randall, 2012; Flora of Panama, 2015).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Apiales
  •                         Family: Apiaceae
  •                             Genus: Anethum
  •                                 Species: Anethum graveolens

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Often called the 'carrot' or 'parsley' family, the Apiaceae family consists of anise-scented, caulescent annual herbs from taproots, characterized by flowers borne in rounded, compound umbels, from which the family's earlier name of Umbelliferae is derived. The family includes many common vegetables and kitchen herbs such as celery, carrot, fennel, dill, coriander and parsnip.

The species Anethum graveolens, or dill, is a common herb used throughout the world for culinary and healing purposes. The common name 'dill' may be derived from the Norse word 'dilla', meaning 'to lull or soothe' in reference to its medicinal usage (Jana and Shekhawat, 2010; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015).

Indian dill, grown widely in northern India (formerly classified under the species Anethum sowa), is a distinct botanical variety (Anethum graveolens var. sowa) that has a high content of the toxic compound dillapiole compared with European dill, which is free of it.

Description

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Erect, annual, blue-green, glabrous herb, up to 1.5 m tall, taproot up to 12 mm in diameter, all parts strongly smelling (herbaceous) especially after crushing. Stem subterete, up to 12 mm in diameter, much branched, sulcate, internodes often hollow. Leaves alternate, decompound, sheathed; sheath forming an open cone, embracing the stem at base, 1-3(-5) cm long, sulcate; petiole subterete, equally long or up to 13 cm longer than the sheath, lower leaves usually rather long petiolate, higher ones almost without petiole; blade triangular to ovate in outline, up to 30 cm x 50 cm, usually much smaller, pinnately divided into 2-6 pairs or whorls of primary pinnae and one top-pinna; each pinna again pinnately divided 2-4 times into linear or filiform, acute lobes of 1-60 mm x 0.1-1 mm. Inflorescence a compound umbel, 4-16 cm in diameter; peduncle up to 30 cm long; bracts and bracteoles usually absent; primary rays 5-35 per umbel, 1-10 cm long, unequal in length, longest ones at the outside of the umbel; secondary rays 3-35 per umbellet, 1-15 mm long; flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, some central ones often remaining rudimentary, protandrous (usually the styles and stigmas becoming fully developed after shedding of the corolla and stamens); calyx vestigial, sometimes 5 small teeth present on top of ovary; petals 5, distinct, subovate in outline, up to 1.5 mm x 1 mm, top strongly inflexed and notched, yellow; stamens 5, filaments about 1.5 mm long, yellow; pistil with inferior, bilocular ovary and a fleshy, conical stylopodium bearing 2 spreading styles about 0.5 mm long. Fruit a lens-shaped schizocarp, 2.5-6 mm x 2-4 mm, light or dark brown with a whitish to pale brown margin, splitting at maturity into 2 one-seeded mericarps which are attached at their top to an erect thin carpophore; mericarp flat, usually with 3 longitudinal prominent ridges and 2 flat, wing-like commissural ridges; on the commissural side, usually 2 dark brown longitudinal vittae, and on the dorsal side, between each 2 ridges, one vitta; the fruits are crowned by the persistent stylopodium and styles. Seed with testa adnate to the mericarp. Seedling with epigeal germination; hypocotyl 5-25 mm long; cotyledons opposite, linear, 15-50 mm x 1-2 mm, entire.

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Herbaceous
Seed propagated

Distribution

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The earliest known use of Anethum graveolens was in ancient Egypt, and as a result of this long history its origin remains uncertain, although it is probably south Eurasia. It has been present in Europe since Roman times and it is assumed that monks brought dill to the rest of Europe. A. graveolens now grows spontaneously in both temperate and hot regions of the world where it is considered an alien species, including Puerto Rico, Brazil, Austria, Finland, Lithuania, many parts of the USA, Canada, Spain, and the Mediterranean (Hand, 2011; Randall, 2012). Dill is now cultivated in India, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, England and the Americas.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ArmeniaPresentIntroducedHand, 2011
AzerbaijanPresentHand, 2011Cultivated
ChinaPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015; USDA-ARS, 2015
Georgia (Republic of)PresentIntroducedHand, 2011Adventitious (casual)
IndiaPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015cultivated
IsraelPresentIntroducedHand, 2011Adventitious (casual)
JordanPresentIntroducedHand, 2011Adventitious (casual)
Korea, DPRPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015cultivated
Korea, Republic ofPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015cultivated
LebanonPresentIntroducedHand, 2011Adventitious (casual)
MyanmarPresentIntroducedKress et al., 2003cultivated
SyriaPresentIntroducedHand, 2011
Turkey-in-AsiaPresentHand, 2011‘doubtfully native’ in Asiatic Turkey
VietnamPresentIntroducedRandall, 2012weed

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNativeHand, 2011
MoroccoPresentNativeHand, 2011
Spain
-Canary IslandsPresentIntroducedHand, 2011; Randall, 2012naturalised
TunisiaPresentNativeHand, 2011

North America

BermudaPresentIntroducedBritton, 1918common and troublesome weed
CanadaPresentIntroducedRandall, 2012; USDA-NRCS, 2015Agricultural weed
-AlbertaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-British ColumbiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-ManitobaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-New BrunswickPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-Newfoundland and LabradorPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-Nova ScotiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-OntarioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-Prince Edward IslandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-QuebecPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-SaskatchewanPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
MexicoPresentIntroducedFlora Mesoamericana, 2015
USAWidespreadIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-ArizonaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-ArkansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedRandall, 2012; USDA-NRCS, 2015environmental weed, cultivation escape, weed
-ColoradoPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-ConnecticutPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-DelawarePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-District of ColumbiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-FloridaPresentIntroducedBritton and Millspaugh, 1920; Stephens, 2012Cultivation escape
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedWagner et al., 2015a; Randall, 2012naturalised
-IllinoisPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-IndianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-IowaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-KansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-KentuckyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-MainePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-MarylandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-MassachusettsPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-MichiganPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-MinnesotaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-MissouriPresentIntroducedFlora of Missouri, 2014; USDA-NRCS, 2015Introduced, uncommon and widely scattered in Missouri
-MontanaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-NebraskaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-New JerseyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-New YorkPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-North DakotaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-OhioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-OklahomaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-OregonPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-South DakotaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-TexasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-VirginiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-WashingtonPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-West VirginiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-WisconsinPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015

Central America and Caribbean

AnguillaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
BahamasPresentIntroducedBritton and Millspaugh, 1920; Acevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Cultivation escape
BelizePresentIntroducedRandall, 2012naturalised
Cayman IslandsPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
CubaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012; Oviedo et al., 2012
DominicaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
El SalvadorPresentIntroducedFlora Mesoamericana, 2015
GuadeloupePresentIntroducedBritton and Millspaugh, 1920; Acevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Cultivation escape
GuatemalaPresentIntroducedFlora Mesoamericana, 2015
HaitiPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
HondurasPresentIntroducedFlora Mesoamericana, 2015
JamaicaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
MartiniquePresentIntroducedBritton and Millspaugh, 1920; Acevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Cultivation escape
MontserratPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
NicaraguaPresentIntroducedFlora Mesoamericana, 2015; Flora of Nicaragua, 2015
PanamaPresentIntroducedFlora of Panama, 2014; Panama Checklist, 2014Bocas del Toro
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedLiogier and Martorell, 2000; Acevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012St. Vincent
United States Virgin IslandsPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012

South America

ArgentinaPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015cultivated
BrazilPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Espirito SantoPresentIntroducedForzza R et al, 2010Subspontaneous
-Santa CatarinaPresentIntroducedForzza R et al, 2010Subspontaneous
-Sao PauloPresentIntroducedForzza R et al, 2010Subspontaneous
ChilePresentIntroducedRandall, 2012naturalised
ColombiaPresentIntroducedVascular Plants of Antioquia, 2015Cultivated. Caldas, Guarne, Medellín, Rionegro, Sonsón
EcuadorPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2015; Vascular Plants of Ecuador, 2015Azuay, Pichincha
ParaguayPresentIntroducedParaguay Checklist, 2015Central
PeruPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015cultivated

Europe

AlbaniaPresentHand, 2011‘Doubtfully native’
AustriaPresentIntroducedHand, 2011; Randall, 2012Alien, not established
BelgiumPresentIntroduced1855DAISIE, 2015Alien, not established
BulgariaPresentNativeHand, 2011; DAISIE, 2015
CroatiaPresentNativeHand, 2011
CyprusPresentNativeHand, 2011; DAISIE, 2015
Czech RepublicPresentIntroducedHand, 2011; Randall, 2012; DAISIE, 2015
DenmarkPresentIntroducedHand, 2011; DAISIE, 2015'Adventitious (casual)’, including Bornholm
EstoniaPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2015Alien, not established
FinlandPresentIntroducedHand, 2011; Randall, 2012‘Adventitious (casual)’, including Ahvenanmaa
FrancePresentIntroducedHand, 2011; DAISIE, 2015‘Adventitious (casual)’
-CorsicaPresentIntroducedHand, 2011
GermanyPresentIntroducedHand, 2011; DAISIE, 2015‘Adventitious (casual)’
GreecePresentIntroducedHand, 2011; DAISIE, 2015cultivated
IrelandPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2015Alien, not established
ItalyPresentIntroducedHand, 2011; DAISIE, 2015Alien, not established
LatviaPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2015Alien, not established
LiechtensteinPresentIntroducedHand, 2011‘Adventitious (casual)’
LithuaniaPresentIntroducedRandall, 2012; DAISIE, 2015
MontenegroPresentIntroducedHand, 2011
NorwayPresentIntroducedHand, 2011‘Adventitious (casual)’
PortugalPresentHand, 2011cultivated
-AzoresPresentIntroducedHand, 2011; DAISIE, 2015
-MadeiraPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2015Alien, established
SerbiaPresentIntroducedHand, 2011
SlovakiaPresentIntroducedHand, 2011‘Adventitious (casual)’
SpainPresentHand, 2011; Randall, 2012; DAISIE, 2015‘Adventitious (casual)’; native to southern parts, introduced elsewhere
-Balearic IslandsPresentHand, 2011
SwedenPresentIntroducedHand, 2011; DAISIE, 2015‘Adventitious (casual)’
SwitzerlandPresentIntroducedHand, 2011
Turkey-in-EuropePresentNativeHand, 2011
UKPresentIntroducedHand, 2011; DAISIE, 2015‘Adventitious (casual)’
UkrainePresentIntroducedHand, 2011; DAISIE, 2015

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroducedRandall, 2012South-east. Weed.
-New South WalesPresentIntroducedRandall, 2012naturalised
-South AustraliaPresentIntroducedRandall, 2012naturalised
Caroline IslandsPresentIntroducedWagner et al., 2015b
French PolynesiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-MarquesasPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroducedWagner and Lorence, 2015cultivated on Marquesas- Ua Pou
New ZealandPresentIntroducedRandall, 2012naturalised

History of Introduction and Spread

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A. graveolens may have originated in Eurasia, perhaps southern Asia, but it is now known around the world, especially across Europe and the Americas. It has been cultivated for centuries, having been known for its culinary use by the ancient Egyptians and, later, Romans (Jana and Shakhawat, 2010; USDA-ARS, 2015).

Date of introduction to the West Indies is unknown. The species was not listed in Bello’s (1881; 1883) work on Puerto Rico, but it was present in Bermuda before 1918 as Britton (1918) mentions in his flora that the species had been previously reported as a common and troublesome weed. By 1920 the species was reported to have escaped from cultivation in parts of the West Indies including Guadeloupe, Martinique, and also in Florida (Britton and Millspaugh, 1920), and by the 1920s it was occasionally spontaneous after cultivation in Puerto Rico, and widely grown there in gardens for flavouring (Britton and Wilson, 1925).

Risk of Introduction

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A. graveolens poses a moderate risk of introduction to non-native habitats. The species has been widely planted in regions around the world and has been reported to escape from cultivation and to naturalise in surrounding areas, often becoming adventive (Liogier and Martorell, 2000; Hand, 2011; Randall, 2012) and in some places invasive (Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012, Randall, 2012). A restricting factor to the widespread invasive potential for A. graveolens would be a low seed set outside of cultivation, which could result from underdeveloped flowers and lack of proper pollination and fertilization (Jana and Shekhawat, 2010). Other restricting traits include intolerance of frost and root disturbance (Jana and Shekhawat, 2010; PFAF, 2015). Invasive traits include its ability to produce seeds that can remain viable for up to ten years, the widespread global trade of its seeds for food and medicinal purposes, global cultivation of the species for these same reasons, and its ability to thrive in dry conditions (Jana and Shekhawat, 2010; FloriData, 2015). Considering its demonstrated potential for invasiveness and invasive traits, risk of introduction for this species is moderate and may rise with further development of commercial crop breeding methods which may promote further spread of the species.

Habitat

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In cultivation, A. graveolens is grown in backyard gardens and on agricultural land. The species can occur in both waste and cultivated grounds (Britton and Millspaugh, 1920). It grows in lower humid montane forests (Vascular Plants of Antioquia, 2015) and dry valleys (Bolivia Checklist, 2015). In Peru the species can also be found in disturbed areas (Peru Checklist, 2015).

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial-managed
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details
Disturbed areas Present, no further details
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Natural forests Present, no further details

Biology and Ecology

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Reproductive Biology

A. graveolens reproduces by seeds, which are not true seeds but small, dry fruits called schizocarps; these fruits split upon maturity, with each half containing one seed (Stephens, 2012). Seeds remain viable for 2-3 years without special storage measures and the germination rate is about 75%. The 1000-seed weight is 4-5 g.

Physiology and Phenology

Seeds take 2-4 weeks to germinate, flowering starts about 2-3 months after sowing, and ripe seed is harvested 5-6 months after sowing, but wide fluctuations are possible depending on climatic circumstances, cultivar, available nutrients and water. Flowering and fruiting are extended over a long period per plant. Because dill flowers are strongly protandrous, cross pollination and fertilization seem normal; the flowers are well visited by bees and flies. Dill grown under full sun produces significantly more leaves, a larger leaf area and a higher herb yield than plants that receive only 30-70% of natural light. Flower bud development is also faster and the oil concentration almost six times higher than in plants grown under reduced light levels. The essential oil content in the fresh herb increases gradually with advancing growth and development, peaking at the young-fruit stage, and then declining until seed maturity.

Environmental Requirements

Primarily a summer crop of temperate climates but capable of being grown in tropical regions, A. graveolens requires warm to hot summers with full sun, as even partial shade could substantially impact growth and seed production. It prefers rich, well-drained, loose soil and tolerates a range of soil types, including light (sandy) and medium (loamy), with a pH range of 5.3 to 7.8. Its annual rainfall range is 500-1700 mm. The species is frost-sensitive and cannot tolerate wet conditions; it thrives in full light at monthly average temperatures of 16-18°C, and minimum temperature for growth is about 7°C (Jana and Shekhawat, 2010; PFAF, 2015).

The species grows in the Andean regions of Bolivia and Ecuador, and favours mid- to high elevation ranges. In Panama the species is reported to grow between 1000 and 2000 m (Panama Checklist, 2015), while in Ecuador, it has been reported growing higher, between elevations of 2000 and 3000 m (Vascular Plants of Ecuador, 2015). Similarly, in Colombia A. graveolens has been reported to occur at elevations of 2000-2500 m (Vascular Plants of Antioquia, 2015) while in the Bolivian Andes it grows between 0-500 and 3000-3500 m (Bolivia Checklist, 2015).

Properties

Per 100 g edible portion dry dill herb contains approximately: water 7 g, protein 20 g, fat 4 g, carbohydrates 44 g, fibre 12 g, ash 12 g, ascorbic acid 60 mg. The energy value is approximately 1060 kJ/100 g. The essential oil content is 0.1-1.5%. The approximate composition of dry dill fruits per 100 g edible portion is: water 8 g, protein 16 g, fat 14 g, carbohydrates 34 g, fibre 21 g, ash 7 g. The energy value is 1275 kJ/100 g. The essential oil content is 2-6%,

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall5001700mm; lower/upper limits

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Between the early seedling stage and flowering, A. graveolens when cultivated is often attacked by the fungus Erysiphe anethi, which can be controlled by spraying with a copper-containing fungicide at intervals of 7-10 days. Root rot, caused by a Fusarium sp. can lead to serious damage. Prolonged wet weather in temperate climates encourages the fungi Fusarium culmorum, Pythium sp. and Rhizoctonia sp., which can destroy the crop; control is not possible; the only possible measure is to grow a crop that can easily be wind-dried (not too dense, sparingly supplied with N). Wet weather at the flowering stage can cause fungal attack of Botrytis sp. and Alternaria sp. which prevent fruit set. Virus infections and insect pests (lice and caterpillars) are possible but are seldom very serious. Larvae of the chalcid fly Systolealbipensis may infest fruits.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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A. graveolens has been intentionally dispersed by man for centuries, as it has been widely used for human culinary and medicinal purposes. Although specific vehicles of dispersal (e.g., by soil or equipment) have not been reported, the species is known to have been unintentionally introduced through agriculture to non-native areas such as Cyprus and Latvia, and in Austria the species was intentionally released for ‘fauna improvement’ but reportedly ended in 1859 (DAISIE, 2015). It is also known to be a cultivation escape in places such as Puerto Rico, Panama, and California, USA (Liogier and Martorell, 2000; Flora of Panama, 2015; Randall, 2012), and has become invasive in Cuba (Oviedo Prieto et al, 2012). 

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Environment (generally) Positive and negative

Environmental Impact

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Risk of introduction for A. graveolens to non-native habitats is moderate, as it has demonstrated its potential to escape from cultivation and has a long history of widespread, repeated introduction. However, there is a lack of evidence demonstrating significant environmental damage caused by A. graveolens in places where it has become weedy or invasive. The species has not been assessed for potential damage in such places, but considering its widespread range, future research for its invasive potential and monitoring is recommended. 

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Fast growing
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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The green parts and the fruits of dill have been used since ancient times both as a culinary and as a medicinal herb. It has a pleasant aromatic odour but a slightly bitter and pungent taste. Finely chopped fresh or dry leaves and young inflorescences are used as a culinary herb in soups, salads and sauces. Inflorescences and ripe fruits are used to flavour pickled cucumbers, onions, vinegar, sauces, pastries and bread; in India the fruits are an ingredient of curry powder. Dill oleoresin is a concentrated aromatic powder, obtained by extracting the fruits with alcohol and then drying the extract; it is especially recommended for low-salt or salt-free diets.

Essential oils can be steam-distilled from the green parts (dill herb oil, dill weed oil) and from the fruits (dill seed oil). In the USA the regulatory status 'generally recognized as safe' has been accorded to dill (GRAS 2382), dill herb oil (GRAS 2383) and dill seed oil (GRAS 2384). Dill herb oil is mainly used for flavouring and seasoning in the food industry and has largely replaced the whole herb. Dill herb oil is frequently adulterated with d-limonene, which is obtained in the preparation of sweet-orange oil concentrate, and with synthetic carvone.

Dill essential oil is colourless or pale yellow when freshly distilled. The chief components of dill herb oil are phellandrene (35%) and 3,9-epoxy-p-menth-1-ene (25%), and of dill fruit oil are limonene (up to 70%) and carvone (up to 60%) (limonene and carvone are closely related; together they represent about 95% of the oil). Carvone can be applied as a germination suppressor, e.g. in potatoes. The essential oil composition of dill varies strongly with geographical origin, cultivar and maturity of the extracted part; for example, carvone content in fruit oil ranges from 50-60% in the USA and 35-60% in Europe. Wide differences in data on the composition of the essential oil can also partly be explained by different extraction and distillation methods. After oil extraction, the fruits contain approximately 15% protein and 16% fat, and are used as cattle fodder. Monographs on the physiological properties of the dill oils have been published by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM).

 

Dill seed oil, usually in the form of dill water (distilling one part of fruits with 20 parts of water), is used medicinally to alleviate digestion problems, especially of children. Dill oil is said to be strongly antiseptic; it inhibits the activity of several fungi and in mice it shows anticarcinogenic properties. Dill fruits have been shown to be spasmolytic and bacteriostatic for dyspeptic disorders. Bruised and boiled in water and mixed with dill roots, dill fruits are applied externally against swellings of the joints. In general dill is said to have carminative, stomachic, stimulant, diuretic, resolvent, emmenagogue and galactogogue activity.

Fresh and dried inflorescences and infructescences are increasingly being used in the ornamental flower industry.

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed

General

  • Ornamental

Human food and beverage

  • Seeds
  • Spices and culinary herbs

Materials

  • Essential oils

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • Seed trade

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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A. graveolens much resembles fennel (Foeniculum vulgare); it can be distinguished by its smell (dill smells bitter, slightly pungent, fennel smells like liquorice), by its fruits (dill fruits are lens-shaped and narrowly winged, fennel fruits are not as flat and are not winged) and by the average length of the secondary rays in the umbel (longer in dill).

Prevention and Control

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There is a lack of research regarding methods of prevention and control for A. graveolens. 

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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Areas for recommended research in the future include risk assessment and impacts of the species in places where it is known to be weedy, adventive, or invasive, as well as methods of prevention and control.

Bibliography

Top of page Badoc A, Lamarti A, 1991. A chemotaxonomic evaluation of Anethum graveolens L. (dill) of various origins. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 3:269 278.

Garrabrants NL, Craker LE, 1987. Optimizing field production of dill. Acta Horticulturae, 28:69 81.

Halva S, Craker LE, Simon JE Charles JD, 1992. Light levels, growth and essential oil in dill (Anethum graveolens L.). Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants, 1(1/2):47-58.

Hamner KC, Naylor AW, 1939. Photoperiodic responses of dill, a very sensitive long-day plant. Botanical Gazette, 100:853-861.

Hornok L, 1980. Effect of nutrition supply on yield of dill (Anethum graveolens L.) and the essential oil content. Acta Horticulturae, 96:337-343.

Jansen PCM, 1981. Spices, condiments and medicinal plants in Ethiopia, their taxonomy and agricultural significance. Wageningen, the Netherlands: Centre for Agricultural Publishing and Documentation (Pudoc), 29-38.

Randhawa GS, Gill BS, Saini SS, Singh J, 1996. Effect of plant spacings and nitrogen levels on the seed yield of dillseed (Anethum graveolens L.). Acta Horticulturae, 426:623 628.

Singh A, Randhawa GS, Mahey RK, 1987. Oil content and oil yield of dill (Anethum graveolens L.) herb under some 9 agronomic practices. Acta Horticulturae, 208:51 60.

van der Mheen HJ, Bosch H, 1994. Teelt van dillekruid en dillezaad [The cultivation of dill herb and dill seed]. Lelystad, the Netherlands: Proefstation voor de Akkerbouw en Groenteteelt in de Vollegrond, Informatie en Kenniscentrum.

Zheng G, Kenney PM, Lam LKT, 1992. Anethofuran, carvone and limonene: potential cancer chemopreventive agents from dill weed oil and caraway oil. Planta Medica, 58:338 341.

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong MT, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, 98:1192 pp. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

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Contributors

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28/01/2015 Updated by:

Marianne Jennifer Datiles, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

Distribution Maps

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