[Biscuitroots and Desert Parsleys: The Genus Lomatium in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Gray's Biscuitroot, Gray's Lomatium, Milfoil Lomatium, Pungent Desert Parsley

Lomatium papilioniferum

Synonyms: Lomatium grayi, Lomatium grayi var. grayi

Gray's Biscuitroot, Gray's Lomatium, Milfoil Lomatium, Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium papilioniferum (Synonyms: Lomatium grayi, Lomatium grayi var. grayi) - Gray's Biscuitroot, Gray's Lomatium, Milfoil Lomatium, Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium papilioniferum (Synonyms: Lomatium grayi, Lomatium grayi var. grayi)

Pungent desert parsley just begining to bloom at left as it emerges from cracks between rocks in an outcrop along the west side of Interstate 84 just northwest of the Chenoweth Exit to the west of The Dalles, OR........February 14, 2009. The photo at right shows pungent desert parsley blooming on rocky slopes above Washington Highway 14 along the Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail, Columbia River Gorge......January 18, 2021.

Characteristics:

As its name implies, pungent desert parsley has a definite pungent, sometimes malodorous smell when its herbage is lightly crushed. It is a perennial wildflower with several glabrous stems ascending from 15-50 cm high from a thick taproot topped by the remains of previous years' leaves. The herbage ranges from glabrous and glaucous to slightly rough to the touch. The leaves are 6-10 cm long with inflated petioles. They are largely basal and are ternate-pinnately compound, being dissected into numerous narrow linear acute segments up to 6 mm long and the segments oriented in many planes.

The inflorescence is an umbel, the unequal stems beneath each umbelet measuring from 3.5-10 cm long. The petals are yellow. The fruit are elliptic in shape, the lateral wings from 1/3-2/3 as wide as the body, and measuring 8-15 mm long.


Habitat:

Pungent desert parsley may be found in dry, open and rocky places from the lowlands to moderate elevations in the mountains.


Range:

Pungent desert parsley may be found from central Washington south to the east of the Cascade Mts. to central Oregon and east to northern Idaho, northeastern Nevada, southwestern Wyoming, Utah, and southwestern Colorado.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 100'-2500' from near Crown Point eastward throughout most of the eastern Gorge.


Gray's Biscuitroot, Gray's Lomatium, Milfoil Lomatium, Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium papilioniferum (Synonyms: Lomatium grayi, Lomatium grayi var. grayi) - Gray's Biscuitroot, Gray's Lomatium, Milfoil Lomatium, Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium papilioniferum (Synonyms: Lomatium grayi, Lomatium grayi var. grayi)

Pungent desert parsley observed beginning to bloom on slopes above the Crawford Oaks Trailhead at Columbia Hills Historical State Park.....February 24, 2021.

Gray's Biscuitroot, Gray's Lomatium, Milfoil Lomatium, Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium papilioniferum (Synonyms: Lomatium grayi, Lomatium grayi var. grayi)
Pungent desert parsley as seen on cliffs above the east bank of the Deshutes River about 2 miles upstream from its junction with the Columbia River. Note the glaucous gray-green foliage consisting of numerous short, thin segments oriented in many directions rather than in one plane..........March 6, 2005.

Gray's Biscuitroot, Gray's Lomatium, Milfoil Lomatium, Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium papilioniferum (Synonyms: Lomatium grayi, Lomatium grayi var. grayi)

The photo above shows a close-up of the foliage and newly opening umbel of pungent desert parsley as seen on cliffs above the east bank of the Deschutes River about 2 miles upstream from its junction with the Columbia River...........March 6, 2005.

Gray's Biscuitroot, Gray's Lomatium, Milfoil Lomatium, Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium papilioniferum (Synonyms: Lomatium grayi, Lomatium grayi var. grayi)

The first blooming pungent desert parsley of 2012 as seen in talus slopes along the old Highway 30 between the Chenoweth Exit and the Discovery Center just northwest of The Dalles, Oregon..........February 11, 2012. In this case, the plant is situated at the base of a large basalt block which radiates enough heat for the plant to grow earlier, and perhaps be warm enough to attract the first pollinating insects to the flowers.

Gray's Biscuitroot, Gray's Lomatium, Milfoil Lomatium, Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium papilioniferum (Synonyms: Lomatium grayi, Lomatium grayi var. grayi) - Gray's Biscuitroot, Gray's Lomatium, Milfoil Lomatium, Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium papilioniferum (Synonyms: Lomatium grayi, Lomatium grayi var. grayi)

The first blooming pungent desert parsley of 2019 observed about 2 miles upstream from the Columbia River along the eastbank of the Deschutes River......January 4, 2019.

Dissected leaf of Gray's Biscuitroot, Gray's Lomatium, Milfoil Lomatium, Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium papilioniferum (Synonyms: Lomatium grayi, Lomatium grayi var. grayi) - Fruits of Gray's Biscuitroot, Gray's Lomatium, Milfoil Lomatium, Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium papilioniferum (Synonyms: Lomatium grayi, Lomatium grayi var. grayi)

The leaf and still green fruits of pungent desert parsley from Horsethief Butte, Columbia River Gorge........May 5, 2001.

Gray's Biscuitroot, Gray's Lomatium, Milfoil Lomatium, Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium papilioniferum (Synonyms: Lomatium grayi, Lomatium grayi var. grayi)


Paul Slichter