Synonym: Lomatium grayi var. grayi
Pungent desert parsley blooming on rocky, high ground in the middle of a vernal creek to the east of Coyote Wall in the central Columbia River Gorge.................April 10, 2010.
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.
Pungent desert parsley may be found in dry, open and rocky places from the lowlands to moderate elevations in the mountains.
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.
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.