Berula erecta (Huds.) Coville

Water Parsnip

Contr. U.S. Natl Herb. 4: 115 (1893) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Uncertain

Threat status:Victoria: data deficient (k)

Aquatic or semi-aquatic herb 30–100 cm high; stems branched, hollow, striate to furrowed. Emergent leaves once-pinnate, submerged leaves 3–4-pinnate, lamina 12–40 cm long, 1.5–12 cm wide; leaflets 15–21, oblong-lanceolate or c. ovate, 8–56 mm long, 4–35 mm wide, toothed, sessile. Umbels 3–6 cm diam.; peduncles 3–8 cm long; bracts lanceolate, uneven, 10–20 mm long; rays 6–20, unequal, to 20 mm long; umbellules 6–12 mm diam., 9–22-flowered, bracteoles linear or lanceolate, 2–3.5 mm long; pedicels to 5 mm long. Petals c. 1 mm long, white. Fruit 1.5–2 mm long.

HSF, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *VVP, *WaP, *WPro. Also naturalised WA, SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Native from Europe to central Asia, and North America. Occurring in lowland, often near-coastal, swamps and streams in southern Victoria. Flowering Dec.-Mar.

This species is now widely treated as a natualised alien in Australia but was once regarded as an indigenous variety (univittatum) of the European Sium latifolium. It is regarded as of uncertain origin in Victoria as it has been recorded mostly from high-quality, largely weed-free watercourses.

Often confused with Helosciadium nodiflorum which has 0–2 bracts at the base of the umbels.

Source: Duretto, M.F. (1999). Apiaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2020-11-06
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Apiales
family Apiaceae
genus Berula
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Berula erecta in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Berula erecta in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present introduced
Gippsland Plain present introduced
Warrnambool Plain present introduced
East Gippsland Lowlands present introduced
East Gippsland Uplands present introduced
Wilsons Promontory present introduced
Highlands-Southern Fall present uncertain

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory