From Alkemelych, the Arabic name for the plant.
Deciduous perennial herbs with woody rootstocks. Leaves of 5-11 palmate lobes or divisions, stem leaves with toothed or lobed stipules. Flowers small, greenish yellow, in compound clusters, each with 4 outer epicalyx lobes and 4 alternating sepals; petals absent. Stamens 1-4. Carpel 1, embedded in the calyx tube. Fruit an achene.
Grown as border plants for the attractive palmate leaves and dense clusters of small flowers.As mostly cool-climate or montane species, however, they are only suitable for cool areas and are not common in cultivation in Australia.
Many species are apomictic, a feature that complicates identification.
A. vulgaris L., a name sometimes used in horticulture, is now treated as an invalid aggregate name comprising 5 species; plants listed under this name may be better referred to A. xanthochlora Rothm.
About 250 species, northern temperate to tropical montane (over 100 species from Europe).
Seeds or division.
Palmately divided or lobed leaves; sepals 4, with an epicalyx.
Source: (2002). Rosaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.