Tordylium apulum, commonly known as the Mediterranean hartwort, is an annual forb or herb. It is classified within the family Apiaceae, the carrot family. It is located in a range from Europe to west Asia, but was introduced to the United States, where it is now found only in Arizona.
The Mediterranean hartwort usually grows to 20-50 centimeters in height. It has an erect stem that is branched with soft, spreading hairs at the base, and scattered hairs along the rest of the stem. The leaves are softly hairy and pinnate, with the lower leaves being oval with toothed segments, and the upper leaves having linear segments. It has 2-8 primary rays. The marginal flowers each have 1 white petal, enlarged, and uniformly deeply 2-lobed. The bracts and bracteoles are linear long-pointed with spreading hairs. The fruit is orbicular and flattened, and usually is 5-8 millimeters in size.
Mediterranean hartwort is located in cultivated beds, waste land, and waysides. The plant prefers sandy, loamy and clay soils. Hartworts also prefer acid, neutral and basic soils. It cannot grow in the shade.
The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Mediterranean hartwort does have edible leaves. In Italy it is used as a condiment. The essential oil composition of aerial parts of Tordylium apulum L. from Italy was analyzed. Sixty-seven compounds were identified representing 96.5% of the oil. The most abundant compounds were (E)-β-ocimene (17.3), α-humulene (11.4%) and octyl octanoate (8.8%). Essential oil from aerial parts of T. apulum from Greece was reported to have α-humulene (28.7%) and octyl hexanoate (11.7%) as the main constituents. There are no known medicinal uses for this plant.
- "Tordylium apulum". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- Schonfelder, Ingrid and Peter. Wild Flowers of the Mediterranean. Germany: Kosmos-Verlag, Stuttgart, 1990. Print
- Polunin, Oleg. A Field Guide to Flowers of Europe. London: Oxford University Press, 1969. Print.
- United States Department of Agriculture, “Tordylium apulum L., http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=TOAP2, 2009. Print.
- Tirillini, Brittany. “Essential Oil Composition of Tordylium apulum L. from Italy,” Journal of Essential Oil Research, Jan/Feb 2006. Print.