Page author: David Giblin
Sanicula graveolens
Sierran black-snakeroot
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: Distributed on both sides of the Cascades in Washington; British Columbia south to California, east to Montana and Wyoming.

Habitat: Common in open woods at low to mid-elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Taprooted perennial, the single stem branched at the base and upward, 0.5-5 dm. tall.


The lowermost cauline leaves often attached below the ground surface, well-developed and petiolate, the blade ternate-pinnate, 1.5-4 cm. long and 2-3.5 cm. wide, the rachis entire; middle and upper cauline leaves few and reduced, becoming sessile.


Primary umbels few-rayed and irregular, ultimate umbels small and head-like; involucre of leafy bracts, involucel of 6-10, oblong to lance-linear, pointed bracts 1 mm. long; calyx lobes ovate, pointed, 1 mm. long; flowers light yellow; staminate flowers more numerous than the perfect.


Fruit ovoid-globose, 3-5 mm. long and 2-4 mm. wide, covered at least upward with stout, recurved prickles.

Accepted Name:
Sanicula graveolens Poepp. ex DC.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Sanicula apiifolia
Sanicula graveolens Poepp. ex DC. var. septentrionalis (Greene) H. St. John
Sanicula nevadensis S. Watson
Sanicula nevadensis S. Watson var. septentrionalis (Greene) Mathias
Sanicula septentrionalis Greene
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Sanicula graveolens in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Sanicula graveolens checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Sanicula graveolens atlas page.

CalPhotos: Sanicula graveolens photos.

USDA Plants: Sanicula graveolens information.

36 photographs:
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