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a genus of plants of the family Umbelliferae. The plants, which are annual or, less commonly, biennial herbs, have strongly dissected leaves. There are three species, distributed in southern Europe, Egypt, and Ethiopia. The most common species is dill (A. graveolens), an annual having a very spicy fragrance. Dill is cultivated in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Its erect and branching stem reaches 2 m in height. The pinnatisect leaves range in color from yellowish green to bluish green. The inflorescence is a compound umbel; the flowers are bisexual, small, and yellow.
The young plants are used as salad greens and as seasoning. At the onset of seed maturation they are suitable as a spice in pickling and marinating. A mixture of dill, parsley, celery, tarragon, and other herbs—with salt (weighing 25 percent of the weight of the herbs) added as preservative—is canned for winter use. The seeds, which are rich in essential oil, are used by the confectionery and perfume industries, as well as in the preparation of canned goods. The fruits of A. graveolens yield Anethine, a coronary vasodilator used medicinally as a spasmolytic. The fresh leaves contain 7.4–13.4 percent dry matter, 1.4–4.0 percent nitrogenous substances, and 0.4–1.6 percent sugars; 100 g contain 51–128 mg vitamin C and 3.6–7.0 mg carotene. The leaves also contain the B-complex vitamins and salts of iron, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.
Dill is cold resistant and photophilic; it requires an abundance of moisture in the soil. The plant is sown in both open and sheltered ground. Several plantings are done during the vegetative period; a winter planting is also made. The yield from open ground is 80–100 quintals per hectare and 3 kg from a hotbed. There are three varieties: Armianskii 268, Uzbekskii 243, and Gribovskii.
IU. I. MUKHANOVA