Parry's Biscuitroot (Parry's Lomatium)
Family: Apiaceae (A Utah Flora – Umbelliferae) - Carrot or Parsley Family
Perennial herbs from taproots; some strongly aromatic; stems usually stout, furrowed, with hollow internodes; 3.2” to 1.3' (8 to 40 cm) tall
Leaves: basal; compound; can have hairs; leaflet including leaf stalk is 4” to 16” (10 to 40 cm) long
Flowers: 5 small yellow (turn white with age) petals; 5 sepals or lacking; 5 stamens; 1 pistil; 2 styles; bisexual; small yellow flowers in clusters (compound umbel); flower cluster 0.6” to 1.2” (1.5 to 3 cm) wide.
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 trail on primitive loop, 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, “parryi”, honors Charles Christopher Parry (1823-1890), the first official botanist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a collector with the Pacific Railway Survey.
The family identification depends on anatomical details of fruits and seeds.
Did You Know?
Edward Abbey worked as a seasonal park ranger at Arches in the late 1950s. His 1968 memoir of this experience, "Desert Solitaire," has become a classic of desert literature.