Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Osmorhiza occidentalis
Sierran sweet-cicely, western sweet-cicely

Distribution: Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; southern British Columbia to California, east to the Rocky Mountains from Alberta to Utah.

Habitat: Forest openings and edge, thickets, and riparian zones from low to middle elevations.

Flowers: April-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Stout, mostly glabrous, aromatic perennial, 4-12 dm. tall, the stems clustered on a stout root that quickly melts away.


Leaves 1-3 ternate-pinnate, the leaflets lanceolate to ovate, serrate, 2-10 cm. long and 0.5-5 cm. wide; basal leaves clustered and long-petiolate, the cauline leaves several and sub-sessile; stems usually branched above.


Inflorescence of several compound umbels, the long peduncles rising from leaf axils as well as terminal; the 5-12 rays 1-4 cm. long, elongating to 8 cm. or more in fruit; involucre and involucel wanting; calyx teeth obsolete, flowers yellow.


Fruit glabrous, linear-oblong, 12-20 mm. long, narrowed above to a short, beak-like tip; stylopodium low-conic.

Accepted Name:
Osmorhiza occidentalis (Nutt. ex Torr. & A. Gray) Torr.
Publication: Rep. U.S. Mex. Bound., Bot. [Emory] 71. 1859.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Glycosma ambiguum
Glycosma occidentalis Nutt. ex Torr. & A. Gray
Osmorhiza ambigua (A. Gray) J.M. Coult. & Rose
Osmorhiza ambiguum
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Osmorhiza occidentalis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Osmorhiza occidentalis checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Osmorhiza occidentalis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Osmorhiza occidentalis photos.

USDA Plants: Osmorhiza occidentalis information.

58 photographs:
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