[Desert Parsleys: The Genus Lomatium in the Columbia River
Gorge of Oregon and Washington ]
Bare-stem Desert Parsley, Barestem Biscuitroot, Indian-consumption-plant, Pestle Parsnip
Synonyms: Cogswellia nudicaulis, Lomatium platyphyllum
The photo above shows bare-stem desert parsley as seen in the Columbia Hills..........March
Bare-stem desert parsley is a fairly easy to identify
desert parsley (at least in the Pacific Northwest) due to the erect, solitary
to several hollow stems which inflate or increase greatly in diameter directly
beneath the inflorescence. The naked stems range from 20-90 cm high and are
generally both glabrous and blue-glaucous. The firm leaves are found only near
the base and are ternately or ternate-pinnately 1-3 times compound with 3-30
veiny, often petiolate lanceolate to ovate leaflets from 2-9 cm long and 1-6
cm wide. The leaflet margins may be entire or may be toothed at the tips.
The inflorescence is an umbel of numerous small
umbelets which are usually widely spaced when in flower. The stems which hold
the umbelets in the umbel extend unequally from 6-20 cm. The flowers are yellow.
The fruit is 7-15 mm long, oblong to elliptic in shape, narrowing to a short
beaklike tip. The wings of the fruit are up to one-half as wide as the body.
Bare-stem desert parsley maybe found from the lowlands
to moderate elevations in the mountains on dry, open or sparsely wooded places,
and is often mixed with sagebrush or ponderosa pine.
Bare-stem desert parsley may be found from southern
British Columbia south along both sides of the Cascade Mts. through Washington
and Oregon to central California and east to southwestern Alberta, western and
southern Idaho, and western Utah.
In the Columbia River Gorge it may be found between
the elevations of 100'-2500' from near Hamilton Mt. in the west and eastward
past Biggs, OR.
Bare-stem desert parsley as seen at left in the Columbia Hills..........March
The photo at right shows barestem desert parsley blooming along the Dalles Mountain Road in the lower part of the Columbia Hills State Park..........April 12, 2014.
Barestem desert parsley observed with mature fruits along trails at Memaloose (south of Highway 30, east of Marsh Cutoff Road), Columbia River Gorge......October 16, 2020.
The photo at left shows bare-stem desert parsley as seen in the Columbia Hills Natural Area Preserve..........May 10, 2009. Occasionally, one can find masses of barestem desert parsley growing together. Photo from vernally moist prairie between Rowena and Memaloose (Dell and Marsh Cutoff Roads), Columbia River Gorge.....April 17, 2022.
Bare-stem desert parsley blooming at left on scabland slopes above the Crawford Oaks trailhead, Columbia Hills State Park..........March 3, 2015. The photo at right shows early leaves of barestem desert parsley as seen on slopes above the east side of the Deschutes River, Deschutes River State Recreation Area.....January 29, 2021.
Mature fruits of bare-stem desert parsley as seen in the northwest corner of the Columbia Hills State Park.........October 15, 2015.
A bare-stem desert parsley with its upper stem beginning to enlarge as seen along US 97 about 2 miles west of Brooks Memorial State Park...........May 17, 2014.
Bare-stem desert parsley blooming (left) in the northwest corner of the Columbia Hills State Park..........April 16, 2015. Bare-stem desert parsley barely beginning to bloom on vernally moist grassy slopes east of Eightmile Creek and above the Crawford Oaks Trailhead, Columbia Hills State Park........February 23, 2016.
Barestem desert parsley in bloom on open slopes above the Crawford Oaks Trailhead at Columbia Hills Historical State Park......March 24, 2022.