Parnassia fimbriata K.D. Koenig
fringed grass-of-Parnassus (fringed grass of Parnassus)
Celastraceae (Bittersweet family)
(Previously in Parnassiaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Ian Gardiner     (Photo ID #24331)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Parnassia fimbriata
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from a short, stout rootstock and fibrous root; stems ascending to erect, solitary to several, 15-30 (50) cm tall.
Basal leaves kidney-shaped, heart-shaped at the base, wider than long, 2-4 cm wide, entire, glossy green, the stalks 3-10 cm long; stem leaves solitary, reduced, unstalked, clasping, located near midlength on the stem.
Inflorescence of single, erect, terminal flowers on leafless stalks; petals 5, white, fringed or comb-like on the lower half, 5- to 7-veined, 8-12 mm long; calyces lobed nearly to the base, the lobes oblong, half as long as the petals; sterile stamens thickened and scalelike, with 7-9 marginal lobes and a central larger lobe, sometimes with 5-many elongate, club-shaped segments.
Capsules, egg-shaped, 1 cm long; seeds angled, numerous.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

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


Ecological Framework for Parnassia fimbriata

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)
1520 8 2468
Slope Gradient (%)
17 0 420

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

344 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(14), BAFA(35), BWBS(17), CMA(2), CWH(20), ESSF(684), ICH(56), IDF(19), IMA(4), MH(67), MS(89), SBS(33), SWB(28)

Habitat and Range

Moist to wet meadows, streambanks, fens, bogs and open seepage sites in forests in the lowland and montane to alpine zones; common throughout BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to SW AB and S to NM and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Parnassia fimbriata var. fimbriata K.D. Koenig