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

Lomatium triternatum (Pursh) J.M. Coult. & Rose
nine-leaved desert-parsley (nineleaf biscuitroot)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #85700)

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Distribution of Lomatium triternatum
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from an elongated taproot, seldom thickened, surmounted by a simple branched crown or stem-base; stems or scapes solitary or few, erect, 10-80 cm tall, glabrous.
Mostly basal, pinnately compound, divided 1-3 times or, at the base, 2-3 times; stem leaves 1 or more on the middle or upper stem; ultimate leaf segments narrow and scarcely leaflike, usually less than 5 mm wide, finely hairy.
Inflorescence of compound umbels; flowers yellow, spokes of the umbel elongating unequally, 2-10 cm long; involucels present.
Oblong to broadly elliptic, 7-15 mm long, narrowly to very broadly winged, glabrous to minutely hairy or granular-roughened.
Two subspecies occur in BC:

1. Fruits broadly elliptic, wings nearly or fully as wide as body; ultimate leaf segments linear................ ssp. platycarpum (Torr.) Cronq

1. Fruits usually relatively narrow, wings usually half as wide as body; ultimate leaf segments lanceolate..................... ssp. triternatum

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Spring
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry open slopes and grasslands in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent in SC and SE BC (ssp. triternatum), rare on S Vancouver Island (ssp. platycarpum); E to SW AB and S to CO, UT and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lomatium triternatum

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) 400 974 2286
Slope Gradient (%) 0 27 110
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 199 360
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(2), BG(32), ESSF(35), ICH(25), IDF(143), MS(23), PP(147)


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

General References