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

Lomatium dissectum (Nutt.) Mathias & Constance
fern-leaved desert-parsley (fernleaf biscuitroot)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Val George  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #29454)

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Distribution of Lomatium dissectum
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Lomatium dissectum var. dissectum

Species Information

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Stout perennial herb from a taproot; stems several, 0.5-1.5 (2) m tall.
Mostly basal, finely dissected, fernlike, 1-3 times divided; ultimate segments narrow and scarcely leaflike, usually less than 5 mm wide.
Inflorescence of compound umbels; flowers yellow or purple; bracts of umbellets very narrow.
Oblong to elliptic, 8-18 mm long, with corky-thickened narrow wings.
Two varieties occur in BC:

1. Fruits sessile or the stalks short, shorter than sterile flowers..................... var. dissectum

1. Fruits with well-developed (4-20 mm) stalks.............. var. multifidum (Nutt.) Mathias & Const.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry grasslands, shrublands, talus and rocky slopes in the steppe and montane zones; var. dissectum rare in S BC, var. multifidum frequent in SC and SE BC; E to SK and S to CO, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lomatium dissectum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 24 1020 2264
Slope Gradient (%) 0 41 110
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
5 187 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(9), BG(40), CDF(3), ESSF(40), ICH(22), IDF(124), MS(21), PP(71)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant. montane to subalpine. Western North American forb distributed equally in the Pacific and Cordilleran regions. marginally in the Central region. Occurs on very dry to moderately dry, nitrogen-rich soils (Moder and Mull humus forms) within subalpine boreal, temperate, cool semiarid, and dry mesothermal climates. Sporadic in open-canopy forests on water­shedding sites. A nitrophytic species characteristic of moisture-deficient sites.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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

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General References