E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lomatium grayi (J.M. Coult. & Rose) J.M. Coult. & Rose
Gray's desert-parsley (Gray's biscuitroot)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23876)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Lomatium grayi
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.


Gray's desert-parsley is one of twelve species of Lomatium found in British Columbia. It is a tap-rooted perennial species with finely dissected blue-green leaves and the typical flat-topped flower cluster of this genus. Flowers are yellow. It is found in North America from BC south to New Mexico ((CO, ID, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY), but in British Columbia it is restricted to the Gulf Islands, representing "a coastal outlier west of the cascades" (COSEWIC 2008). Like other Lomatium species, it shows preference for stony ground and shallow soils, and, in BC, is found on "very steep or vertical, southwest-facing rock walls where the plants grow on narrow ledges, in cracks of the rock, and in small pockets of soil." (COSEWIC 2008). It is a spring-flowering (April in BC), summer dormant species. Lifespan is reported as 5-7 years (various sources). Gray's desert-parsley is one of the species collected by Lewis and Clark ("collected along the Columbia River perhaps at the mouth of Major Creek, Klickitat Co., Washington, on 14 Apr 1806") (Reveal 2001). The three collections for this species in the UBC Herbarium are from 1996, and all are from Saltspring Island.


COSEWIC. 2008. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Gray’s desert-parsley Lomatium grayi in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. Available Online

Reveal, James. 2001. The Lewis and Clark Herbarium. Available Online.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Malodorous perennial herb from a long, stout taproot below a branching stem-base which is often covered by the dead leaves of the previous year; stems several, glabrous, 15-50 cm tall.
Mostly basal, short rough-hairy, very finely dissected, with numerous, very narrow, often subterete ultimate segments that lie in numerous planes to form a thick mat.
Inflorescence of compound umbels; flowers yellow; spokes of the umbel elongate unequally, 3.5-10 cm long; involucels well-developed.
Elliptic, 8-15 mm long, glabrous, lateral wings 1/3 - 1/2 as wide as the body.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry rocky or open slopes in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC, known only from Galiano Island and Saltspring Island; S to WY, CO, NV and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References