Lomatium nudicaule

From Puget Prairie Plants
  • Scientific Name: Lomatium nudicaule
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • Common Names: bare-stemmed biscuit-root, pestle parsnip
  • Synonyms/Misapplications: Cogswellia nudicaulis, Lomatium platyphyllum
  • Codon: LOMNUD

Photo by Ben Legler, 2004, also featured on Main Page


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Viridiplantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Spermatophytina
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteranae
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Lomatium Raf.
Species: Lomatium nudicaule (Pursh) J.M. Coult. & Rose
  • Cogswellia nudicaulis (Pursh) M.E. Jones


Plant Description

For the Lomatium genus, mature fruit shape, aspect ratio, and pedicel length are diagnostic.[2]

Native perennial, 2-9 dm tall, growing from an enlarged taproot.[3]

Leaves are glaucous, 1-3 times compound, leaflets are lanceolate to ovate in shape.[3] Plants are generally acaulescent, occasionally caulescent.[2]

Inflorescence of compound umbels, flowers pale yellow and small, stalks of unequal length, involucels lacking.[4] Often the peduncles are swollen and hollow at the base of the umbel.[3]

Fruits are oblong to elliptic, 7-15 mm long, sometimes with beaked tip, ribs distinct with wings up to 1/2 the width of the body.[4]

Bloom Period



Both sides of Cascades, southern BC to central California, Idaho, Nevada, and western Utah.[2]


Dry, open areas; common in shrub-steppe, but found in mountain meadows.[5]


Many Lomatium species are important food and medicine plants.

Hul'qumi'num and Lekwungen use of seeds, chewed for colds or sore throats. [6]

Kwakwaka'wakw use of chewed seeds applied on head for headaches.[6]

Kwakwaka'wakw use of infusion of seeds, taken by pregnant people to support an easy delivery.[7]

Nlaka'pamux use as food, roots baked, stems peeled, leaves and immature fruits as a flavoring in other foods.[8]


Seeds benefit from stratification, slow to establish. Seeds germinated within 1-2 weeks. [9]


Seed sample from: 2011

Average Measurement: 10.7 x 4.9 x 0.9

Measurement Range: L: 9 – 12.5, W: 4 – 5.75, D: 0.5 – 1.1


Shape: Seeds widely winged and schizoid. Hilum puckered.

Color: Wings and ribs off-white to tan. Hilum is darker. Outer seed face has light to dark brown center, bisected by three tan ribs that cross longitudinally from hilum to opposite apex. Inner seed face is bisected by one major rib, and then has darker brown stripes mixed with tan stripes.

Surface: Seeds smooth and matte.

Latitudinal Cross Section: elliptical LONU lat.png

Longitudinal Cross Section: elliptical LONU long.png

Photo Gallery


  1. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved from https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=29731
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Hitchcock, C. L., Cronquist, A., Giblin, D., & Legler, B. et al. (2018). Flora of the Pacific Northwest: an illustrated manual. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bowcutt, F., & Hamman, Sarah. (2016). Vascular plants of the South Sound prairies (First ed.). Olympia, Washington: The Evergreen State College Press.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2020-06-08 12:03:17 PM ]
  5. 5.0 5.1 WTU Herbarium, Burke Museum, & University of Washington. Retrieved from http://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection.php?Genus=Lomatium&Species=nudicaule
  6. 6.0 6.1 Turner, Nancy Chapman and Marcus A. M. Bell 1971 The Ethnobotany of the Coast Salish Indians of Vancouver Island, I and II. Economic Botany 25(1):63-104, 335-339 (p. 89)
  7. Turner, Nancy Chapman and Marcus A. M. Bell 1973 The Ethnobotany of the Southern Kwakiutl Indians of British Columbia. Economic Botany 27:257-310 (p. 276)
  8. Native American Ethnobotany Database. Retrieved from http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Lomatium+nudicaule
  9. Propagation protocol for production of container Lomatium nudicaule Pursh plants; Corvallis Plant Materials Center, Corvallis, Oregon. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 17 October 2006). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.