Canyonlands Biscuitroot (Canyonlands Lomatium; Arches Biscuitroot)
Family: Apiaceae (A Utah Flora – Umbelliferae) – Carrot Family
Perennial herbs from taproots; some strongly aromatic; stems usually stout, furrowed, with hollow internodes; plants 4” to 1' (10 to 30 centimeters) tall; tuberous roots
Leaves: Usually alternate, basal; compound with sheathing leaf bases; no hairs; pinnate, leaflet 0.4” to 1.6” (1 to 4 cm) long; 0.08” to 0.48” (2 to 12 mm) wide
Flowers: 5 small yellow petals in clusters (compound umbel); when flowers are dry may appear white; 5 sepals or lacking; 5 stamens; 1 pistil; 2 styles; small yellow flowers. Unisexual or bisexual
Pollinators: other Lomatium species are pollinated by insects
Fruits: schizocarp; flat and wide with lateral wings – splits into 2 halves, each 1 seeded
Blooms in Arches National Park: February, March, April
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: Devils Garden, Herdina Park, Fiery Furnace
Other: The genus name, “Lomatium”, comes from the Greek “loma” for "bordered or fringed" and refers to the prominent winged fruits. The species name, “latilobum”, means “broad lobes” and refers to the shape of the leaf.
Lomatium latilobum is endemic to Grand and San Juan Counties in Utah and Mesa County in Colorado. The type specimen was collected on Wilson Mesa in Grand County. It is typically found living in the sand from Entrada sandstone. Unfortunately, it can be killed with one misplaced footstep.
This plant is a C2 federal species of concern. C2 are taxa for which the information now in the possession of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service indicates that proposing to list them as endangered or threatened species is possibly appropriate, but for which substantial data on biological vulnerability and threat(s) are not currently known or on file to support the immediate preparation of rules.
The family identification depends on anatomical details of fruits and seeds.
Did You Know?
The dirt is alive! A living crust called "Biological Soil Crust" covers much of Arches and the surrounding area. Composed of algae, lichens and bacteria, this crust provides a secure foundation for desert plants. Please stay on roads and trails to avoid trampling this important resource. More...