South Dakota Native Plant Research
Apiaceae : Lomatium foeniculaceum

Apiaceae : Lomatium foeniculaceum


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Family Name


Common Name

Desert biscuitroot, wild parsley

Native American Name

Lakota: šahíyela tȟathíŋpsila huzízi


Lomatium foeniculaceum is a perennial herb growing from a thickened or swollen taproot, either acaulescent or with a short stem. The alternate, pinnately compound leaves have blades up to 30 cm long and are intricately divided into many small, narrow linear segments 1-7mm long and 1 mm wide. The petioles are 3-15 cm long with a surrounding purplish sheath to about the middle. The inflorescence is a loose cluster of compound umbels on peduncles up to 30 cm long that exceed the leaves. The tiny flowers are yellow, and the ovaries are hairy. The fruit are oblong schizocarps 5-12 mm long and 4-8 mm wide. Desert biscuitroot blooms from march to June on rocky prairie hilltops, slopes and open dry prairies, mainly in western and central South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Desert biscuitroot is an interesting addition to a dry desert garden. The plant has a strong scent, and the edible leaves taste like parsley. Lomatium root has long been used as a food source by people of western and Great Plains Tribes.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Collect seed in June-July when the fruits split apart.

Germination: Seeds are dormant collected and need 90 days of cold treatment. Easiest to plant out in the fall.

Soils: Sandy, loamy to clay, well drained soils.

Light: Full sun

Water: Dry

Apiaceae : Lomatium foeniculaceum