Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Sanicula bipinnatifida
purple black-snakeroot, purple sanicle

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California.

Habitat: Balds, forest edge, and other open to partially shaded areas at low to moderate elevations.

Flowers: May-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Taprooted perennial, the solitary or few branching stems 1-6 dm. tall.


Leaves mostly basal, long-petiolate, the blade 4-13 cm. long and 3-12 cm. wide, pinnatifid or bipinnatifid, with a winged, toothed rachis, the segments also toothed; cauline leaves few and reduced, becoming sessile.


Primary umbels few-rayed and irregular, ultimate umbels with about 20 flowers and head-like; involucre of leafy bracts; involucel of lanceolate bractlets less than 4 mm. long; calyx lobes soft, lance-ovate, 1 mm. long; flowers brownish-red to purple.


Fruit ovoid to sub-globose, 3-6 mm. long and 2-4 mm. wide, covered with stout, recurved prickles.

Accepted Name:
Sanicula bipinnatifida Douglas ex Hook.
Publication: Fl. Bor.-Amer. (Hooker) 1(5): 258. 1832.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Sanicula bipinnatifida Douglas ex Hook. var. flava Jeps.
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Sanicula bipinnatifida checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Sanicula bipinnatifida atlas page.

CalPhotos: Sanicula bipinnatifida photos.

USDA Plants: Sanicula bipinnatifida information.

23 photographs:
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