Lomatium dissectum

Chocolate Tips, Fernleaf Biscuitroot

Lomatium dissectum (Nutt.) Math. & Constance is a robust plant that grows 1+ m in height from a large, woody taproot. The leaves, which branches out at ground level, are large and finely dissected into numerous small segments. The flowers are small and purple to brown in color, clustered in large flat-topped umbrella-like heads. 

Cultural Narrative: 

While some groups considered Lomatium dissectum poisonous almost universally poisonous, others ate the young shoots in early spring raw. Turner (2007) reports that other groups ate the roots from young plants. These roots were harvested in May, peeled, steamed, and consumed fresh. If they were to be stored they were allowed to soften and air dry before before they were threaded on strings, similar to Yellow Avalanche Lily bulbs. To prepare the dried roots, they were first soaked for several days before steaming. Roots were also used within medicinal and tanning practices regionally.

Location Description: 

Dry, rocky slopes.