Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) is a large angiosperm family that includes many medicinally important species. The ability to identify these species and their adulterants is important, yet difficult to do so because of their subtle fruit morphological differences and often lack of diagnostic features in preserved specimens. Moreover, dried roots are often the official medical organs, making visual identification to species almost impossible. DNA barcoding has been proposed as a powerful taxonomic tool for species identification. The Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) Plant Working Group has recommended the combination of rbcL+matK as the core plant barcode. Recently, the China Plant BOL Group proposed that the nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS), as well as a subset of this marker (ITS2), be incorporated alongside rbcL+matK into the core barcode for seed plants, particularly angiosperms. In this study, we assess the effectiveness of these four markers plus psbA-trnH as Apiaceae barcodes. A total of 6032 sequences representing 1957 species in 385 diverse genera were sampled, of which 211 sequences from 50 individuals (representing seven species) were newly obtained. Of these five markers, ITS and ITS2 showed superior results in intra- and interspecific divergence and DNA barcoding gap assessments. For the matched data set (173 samples representing 45 species in five genera), the ITS locus had the highest identification efficiency (73.3%), yet ITS2 also performed relatively well with 66.7% identification efficiency. The identification efficiency increased to 82.2% when using an ITS+psbA-trnH marker combination (ITS2+psbA-trnH was 80%), which was significantly higher than that of rbcL+matK (40%). For the full sample data set (3052 ITS sequences, 3732 ITS2 sequences, 1011 psbA-trnH sequences, 567 matK sequences and 566 rbcL sequences), ITS, ITS2, psbA-trnH, matK and rbcL had 70.0%, 64.3%, 49.5%, 38.6% and 32.1% discrimination abilities, respectively. These results confirm that ITS or its subset ITS2 be incorporated into the core barcode for Apiaceae and that the combination of ITS/ITS2+psbA-trnH has much potential value as a powerful, standard DNA barcode for Apiaceae identification.