Page author: David Giblin
Lomatium papilioniferum
butterfly bearing biscuit-root, butterfly bearing desert-parsley

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; southern British Columbia to California, east to Idaho and Nevada.

Habitat: Sagebrush desert and open slopes at low to moderate elevations.

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Malodorous, glabrous perennial from a long, stout taproot and branching woody base, the several stems 1.5-5 dm. tall, the base often covered with the fibrous remains of the leaves of previous years.


Leaves borne near the base of the stem, ascending, ternate-pinnately dissected into very numerous, perhaps 1000, very narrow ultimate segments up to 6 mm. long, the segments disposed in several planes, making the leaves "thick".


Inflorescence a compound umbel, the rays unequal, 3.5-10 cm. long at maturity; involucre none; involucel of several well-developed, very narrow bractlets; pedicels 7-15 mm. long; calyx teeth obsolete; flowers bright yellow.


Fruit glabrous, elliptic, 8-15 mm. long, the lateral wings about half as wide as the body.

Accepted Name:
Lomatium papilioniferum J.A. Alexander & W. Whaley
Publication: J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 12(2): 387 – 444. 2018.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Lomatium grayi (J.M. Coult. & Rose) J.M. Coult. & Rose, misapplied [FNA]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Lomatium papilioniferum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Lomatium papilioniferum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Lomatium papilioniferum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Lomatium papilioniferum photos.

USDA Plants: Lomatium papilioniferum information.

81 photographs:
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