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

Oenanthe sarmentosa C. Presl ex DC.
Pacific water-parsley (water parsely)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Val George  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #29766)

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

Species Information

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

Fibrous-rooted perennial herb; stems soft, weak, loosely branched, up to 1 m long, reclining to ascending, sometimes rooting at the nodes, glabrous.
Basal and stem leaves pinnately divided 2-3 times; leaflets toothed and cleft, primary lateral veins of the leaflets directed to the marginal teeth.
Inflorescence of compound umbels on long stalks; flowers white, small; involucel of numerous, small, narrow bractlets.
Oblong, 2.5-3.5 mm long, 2 mm wide; ribs broader than the narrow intervals.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet streamsides, marshes, meadows and open forests in the lowland and montane zones; common in and W of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to AK and S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Oenanthe sarmentosa

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) 0 169 1970
Slope Gradient (%) 0 3 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
45 226 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 6 8
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: CDF(38), CWH(174), ESSF(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant. submontane to montane, Westem North American herb distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs in cool mesothermal climates on wet to very wet, nitrogen-rich soils (Moder and Mull humus forms); its occurrence decreases with increasing latitude, elevation, and continentality. Occasional in forest understories on water-receiving sites with fluctuating groundwater table; common in non-forested, semi-terrestrial communities on water-collecting sites. Usually associated with Lysichitum americanum. A nitrophytic species characteristic of nutrient-rich wetlands.

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 cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References