Smooth desert parsley is an attractive perennial with erect, branching stems arising from 25-40 cm high with numerous glaucous leaves. The ternately- to pinnately-compound leaves are primarily basal. The margins are dissected, with the individual leaf segments linear in shape and ranging from 1-3 cm long and 1-2 mm wide.
The rays of the compound umbels are unequally elongate, with the longer ones ranging from 3-5 cm long. The bracts below the individual umbels are either absent or at most one or two thin bracts may be present. The flowers are yellow. The fruits are glabrous and elliptic in shape, ranging from 7-12 mm long with the wings ranging from half as wide to almost as wide as the body of the fruit.
Smooth desert parsley may be found on rocky ground or in crevices in the basalt cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge.
In the Columbia River Gorge, smooth desert parsley may be found between the elevations of 100'-700' from The Dalles Dam east to Biggs, OR. It can also be found at several scattered locations within the middle to lower drainage of the Deschutes River in north-central Oregon.
The photo above shows smooth desert parsley as seen about 1 mile east of Celilo, OR.................March 27, 2004. Note the numerous dried peduncles that remain from a previous year's bloom.