South Dakota Native Plant Research
Apiaceae : Osmorhiza longistylis

Apiaceae : Osmorhiza longistylis


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Family Name


Common Name

Longstyle sweetroot, Anise root


Osmorhiza longistylis is a perennial from fleshy roots that are up to 1 cm thick. Stems grow to 1 m tall and can be smooth to densely covered with short hairs. The compound leaves are bi or triternate pinnate. The leaflet blades are ovate to oblong, 3-10 cm by 1-5 cm, the margins have small teeth to larger teeth to pinnate lobes toward the base and are covered with few to a many short hairs. The petioles are long (5-16 cm) and smooth to hairy. The inflorescence is a group of loose umbels both terminal and in the axils of the upper leaves. The umbels are attached by a 5-13 cm peduncle. Each umbel has about 5 umbellets, each umbellet has 8-16 tiny flowers. The flowers have 5 white petals, 5 white-tipped stamens, and 2 white styles which exceed the length of the petals. The fruit is a schizocarp 18-20 mm long. Long-styled sweet-cicely blooms from late April to June in woods thickets and along stream banks in eastern and western South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Anise root is edible; roots, young leaves, flowers and seeds, and has been used in salads and as a spice. Its attractive foliage is a nice addition in shady moist gardens. Its flowers attract small to medium-sized bees, wasps, and beetles.

Horticulture Notes

Seed collection: Seeds can be collected in June and July when the fruits begin to drop.

Germination: Seeds require a 60-day cold treatment or can be planted in the fall.

Light: Partial shade to full sun.

Soil: Rich moist loam.

Water: Medium

Apiaceae : Osmorhiza longistylis