[Sweet-Root or Sweet-cicelys: The Genus Osmorhiza East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot

Osmorhiza occidentalis

Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum

Close-up of an umbellet of Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum)

The photo above shows a close-up of an umbelet of mountain sweet-cicely as seen along Forest Road #4650 at the eastern side of Chief Joseph Canyon in the northern Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.........June 26, 2008.

Narrow fruits of Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum)The photo at right shows the long, slender fruits of mountain sweet cicely, which are held erect or slightly spreading. Photographed on the high ridge west of Hot Springs Camp Cround, Hart Mt. National Antelope Refuge in south-central Oregon.........July 5, 1994. Note that the fruits are glabrous and more or less cylindric, not tapering gradually to the pedicel as in the other members of the genus Osmorhiza.
Characteristics:

Also known as licorice-flavored sweet-cicely, mountain sweet cicely is a perennial herb with stout, erect stems from 40-120 cm high. The stems and leaves are strongly scented with a licorice-like odor. The herbage varies from glabrous to fairly densely covered with very small, coarse, stiff hairs. The leaves are one to three tims ternate or ternate-pinnate. The individual leaflets are lanceolate, lance-elliptic or ovate in shape with coarsely toothed to incised margins, or occasionally parted into 3 lobes. The leaflets are 2-10 cm long and 0.5-5 cm wide. The basal leaves are clustered and long-petiolate and several shorter petioled leaves on the stems.

The inflorescence consists of several umbels which are 6-16 rayed, the rays measuring from 1-5 cm long in flower and elongating up to 7 cm long in fruit. Bracts are typically lacking at the base of both the umbel and individual umbellets. The flowers are atop pedicels from 2-5 cm long and are usually yellow in color, although they may also be greenish-white. The fruits are glabrous, linear-oblong in shape with a rounded rather than tapered base (See photo below.), and measure from 12-20 mm long.


Habitat:

Mountain sweet cicely may be found in moist rock crevices, seasonally moist open slopes and in open coniferous forests.


Range:

Mountain sweet cicely may be found from southwestern Alberta west to British Columbia and south on both sides of the Cascade Mts (including the Coast Ranges) to central California and eastward to southern Colorado.


Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum) - Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum)

The photo at left shows mountain sweet-cicely as seen along Forest Road #4650 at the eastern side of Chief Joseph Canyon in the northern Wallowa-Whitman National Forest........June 26, 2008. The photo at right shows mountain sweet-cicely as seen along Forest Service Road #2230 between Mount Pisgah and East Point, Ochoco National Forest.........June 13, 2015.


Fruits of Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum) - Leaves of Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum)

The photo at upper left shows a close-up of fruits while the photo at rigth shows the clustered stems and leaves of mountain sweet-cicely as seen along Forest Road #4650 at the eastern side of Chief Joseph Canyon in the northern Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.......June 26, 2008.


Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum)

Mountain sweet-cicely as seen along a trail at a scree slope uphill to the east of High Lake and near a pass, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness.........July 17, 2013.

Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum)

Western sweet cicely as seen at Indian Springs Campground, Malheur National Forest.........July 1, 2010.

Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum)

Western sweet-cicely as seen along the Roads End Trail, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness........August 3, 2011.

Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum)

Western sweet-cicely blooming at a moist seep along the Roads End Trail #201A (perhaps at the same spot as the photo above), Strawberry Mountain Wilderness..........July 18, 2013.

Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum)

The photo above shows mountain sweet cicely on vernally moist, open slopes at Squaw Creek Viewpoint along Interstate 84 east of Pendleton, OR........May 29, 1999.

Leaf of Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum)

The photo above shows a stem leaf of mountain sweet cicely. Photographed several miles below Lily Lake along the North Loop Road on the Steens Mt. of southeastern Oregon........May 27, 2000.

Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum) - Inflorescence of Mountain Sweet Cicely, Sierran Sweet-cicely, Western Sweet-cicely, Western Sweetroot: Osmorhiza occidentalis (Synonyms: Glycosma ambiguum, Glycosma occidentalis, Osmorhiza ambigua, Osmorhiza ambiguum)

The photo above shows the inflorescence of mountain sweet cicely. Photographed several miles below Lily Lake along the North Loop Road on the Steens Mt. of southeastern Oregon........May 27, 2000.
Paul Slichter