South Dakota Native Plant Research
Apiaceae : Lomatium macrocarpum

Apiaceae : Lomatium macrocarpum


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Family Name


Common Name

bigseed biscuitroot

Native American Name

Lakota: šahíyela tȟathíŋpsila hú


Lomatium macrocarpum is a highly variable spreading or erect perennial herb growing from an elongated swollen taproot. The flowering stems are often branched, growing 20 to 50 cm tall. The alternate compound ternately pinnate leaves are clustered near the plant base. The hairy, gray-green leaves grow to about 24 cm in length with the ultimate divisions being oblong to linear and about 8 mm long by 2 mm wide. The inflorescences are compound umbels on 1-several spreading or ascending peduncles 10-20 cm long, and 2-8 mm wide, with white to purplish white to yellowish flowers. The fruit are 9-20 mm long schizocarps that are 2-8 mm wide. Big seed biscuitroot blooms in May and June on rocky hills and prairies and clay flats in western South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Big seed biscuitroot is an interesting addition to a dry desert garden, the flowers attracting bees and butterflies. This plant was a staple food for a number of native North American Indian tribes. The root was usually peeled before being cooked and eaten.

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 to partial shade.

Water: Dry

Apiaceae : Lomatium macrocarpum