Lomatium canbyi

Canby’s Biscuitroot, White Camas, Snowdrops

Lomatium canbyi (J.M. Coult. & Rose) J.M. Coult. & Rose is a low-growing dicot perennial with basal and finely dissected leaves. The plants have distinctive taproots with prominent globular thiceknings 2 cm or more below the surface. The small white flowers grow in irregular umbrella-like clusters. 

Lomatium canbyi roots typically have a prominent globular thickening anywhere from 2-8 cm below the elongated upper root portion. The globose thickening may be up to 4 cm in diameter and the entire root has a black outer covering. The outer covering on unpeeled roots is quite wrinkly in appearance.

Cultural Narrative: 

The taproots were harvested in April and May during or just after flowering. Roots were eaten raw, boiled, or pit-steamed. They ould also be dried in the sun, then pounded into flour and formed into small round cakes and stored. 

Location Description: 

Dry rocky slopes and foothills, often found in association with sagebrush.