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San Nicolas Island Lomatium
Lomatium insulare
About San Nicolas Island Lomatium (Lomatium insulare) 1 Nurseries Carry This Plant Lomatium is a genus of about 75 species of perennial herbs native to western North America. In the Apiaceae family and related to many edible species such as carrots and celery, it is also edible. The common names for it are biscuitroot, Indian parsley, and desert parsley, and was extensively used by Indians in the inland northwest as a staple food. Roots range from woody taproots to more fleshy underground tuberous-thickened roots. Most lomatiums are desert species or grow on bluffs where water is limited for most of the year. They are green and grow the most during the spring when water is available, then set seed and dry out completely above ground before the hottest part of the year, while storing the energy they gained from photosynthesizing while water was available to them in their deep roots. For most of the year, the plant is not visible; the brown tops often are blown off or easily crushed, but it lies dormant underground for the next spring. The flowers are arranged in compound umbels, without involucral bracts (or with inconspicuous bracts). The flowers are white or yellow, more rarely a purple or maroon color. As with most Apiaceae, the fruit sets the genus apart from other yellow- or white-flowered look-alikes such as Cymopterus and Oreogenia. Uniquely, they are dorsally flattened and winged, which can be papery or corky, but help the seed to disperse further on the wind. The dorsal ribs may or may not be on the fruit, but are narrowly winged if at all. Leaves are mainly basal and dissected (ternately, pinnately, or ternate-pinnately dissected or compound), many look like ferns or can be mistaken them. Ecology. It grows in a variety of habitats throughout western North America, from coastal bluffs to piles of basalt rock.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Wildlife Supported

Butterflies & moths hosted ( 1 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information

Common uses
Common uses
Butterfly Gardens

Natural Setting
Annual Precipitation: 9.0" - 12.4", Summer Precipitation: 0.16" - 0.23", Coldest Month: 51.8" - 56.0", Hottest Month: 63.5" - 68.5", Humidity: 1.65" - 13.41", Elevation: -9" - 1336"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Desert Parsley, Indian Parsley, San Nicholas Biscuitroot

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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