Sanicula graveolens

From Puget Prairie Plants
  • Scientific Name: Sanicula graveolens
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • Common Names: Sierra sanicle, northern sanicle
  • Previous Names/Misapplications: Sanicula septentrionalis, S. nevadensis, S. graveolens var. septentrionalis
  • Codon: SANGRA

photo by Ben Legler, also featured on Main Page


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Viridiplantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Spermatophytina
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteranae
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Sanicula L.
Species: Sanicula graveolens Poepp. ex DC.
  • Sanicula nevadensis S. Watson
  • Sanicula septentrionalis Greene
  • Sanicula graveolens var. septentrionalis (Greene) H. St. John
  • Sanicula nevadensis var. septentrionalis (Greene) Mathias



Taprooted perennial.

The lowermost leaves often attached at or below the ground surface, ternate-pinnate, primary divisions are generally pinnatifid, the primary divisions separated from the other segments by an entire (not toothed) rachis. Upper cauline leaves less well developed and smaller.

Inflorescences are umbels made up of yellow flowers, staminate flowers more numerous than bisexual flowers. Terminal umbels are head-like, flowers nearly cessile, and umbels subtended by pointed bracts. Calyx connate at base, calyx teeth ovate and pointed.

Fruit is ovioid-globose, with uncinate prickles. [2][3]

Bloom Period



Victoria Island and southern BC south, both sides of the Cascades, to southern California, east to western Montana and northwestern Wyoming.[3]


Open slopes and flatlands, low to middle elevations.[3]


There are many accounts of other Sanicula species used for both food and medicine.[4]

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  1. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved from
  2. 2.0 2.1 WTU Herbarium, Burke Museum, & University of Washington. Retrieved from
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 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.
  4. Native American Ethnobotany Database. Retrieved from