Lomatium dissectum - (Nutt.) Mathias & Constance
Fernleaf Desert-parsley
Other English Common Names: Chocolate-tips, Fernleaf Biscuitroot
Other Common Names: fernleaf biscuitroot
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lomatium dissectum (Nutt.) Mathias & Constance (TSN 503534)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.133802
Element Code: PDAPI1B0G0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Carrot Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Apiales Apiaceae Lomatium
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Lomatium dissectum
Taxonomic Comments: A synonym for Lomatium dissectum is Leptotaenia dissecta Nutt.(Torrey and Gray, 1840). Kartesz (1994 and 1999) recognizes two varieties of Lomatium dissectum: variety dissectum and variety multifidum. A third, variety eatonii, has sometimes been recognized as well, but is treated by Kartesz (1999) in his var. multifidum.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 22Jul2016
Global Status Last Changed: 28Jul2002
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This species (Lomatium dissectum) is widespread, and locally abundant in portions of its range. However, it is mainly wild-harvested to service an increasingly large commercial market for herbal remedies. Although it is possible to cultivate L.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4 (10Sep2011)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Arizona (SNR), California (SNR), Colorado (SNR), Idaho (S4), Montana (S3S4), Nevada (SNR), New Mexico (SU), Oregon (SNR), Utah (SNR), Washington (SNR), Wyoming (SNR)
Canada Alberta (S3), British Columbia (SNR), Saskatchewan (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Lomatium dissectum var. dissectum occurs in, and west of, the Cascade Range and in northern Idaho. Variety multifidum occurs in south British Columbia and to northern Wyoming, central Idaho and central Oregon and less commonly to northern Nevada and southern Idaho. It has also been reported to occur through California to Baja California (Hickman, 1993). Variety eatonii occurs from southern Wyoming, southern Idaho and central and northeastern Oregon, Colorado, Nevada and southern California (Cronquist et al, 1997). A distribution map for Lomatium dissectum is provided on the internet (see citation list).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are well over 101 element occurrences (EOs) throughout the range; over 100 EOs have been reported in Wyoming alone. These are generally in the western mountains.

Population Size Comments: Accurate counts of this species are seldom made because it is regarded as a common and, apparently, a morphologically unremarkable species. Several hundreds of plants can be distributed over a tenth mile or more. Alternatively small groups of individuals can be found with a patchy distribution on the landscape.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: At present, it appears that Lomatium dissectum is unthreatened on a range-wide basis, although it may be threatened in some portions of the range by collection. There is direct evidence of collection (wild-crafting) of mature roots and this is particularly cause for concern because Lomatium dissectum is apparently very slow growing with potentially low recruitment.

Short-term Trend Comments: Accurate historic and current estimates of population size throughout the range are not readily available because it is regarded as a common, abundant species. Therefore trends are difficult to assess.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Lomatium dissectum is a long-lived perennial that appears robust and fairly tolerant of non-destructive disturbance.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Lomatium dissectum var. dissectum occurs in, and west of, the Cascade Range and in northern Idaho. Variety multifidum occurs in south British Columbia and to northern Wyoming, central Idaho and central Oregon and less commonly to northern Nevada and southern Idaho. It has also been reported to occur through California to Baja California (Hickman, 1993). Variety eatonii occurs from southern Wyoming, southern Idaho and central and northeastern Oregon, Colorado, Nevada and southern California (Cronquist et al, 1997). A distribution map for Lomatium dissectum is provided on the internet (see citation list).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY
Canada AB, BC, SK

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Lomatium dissectum is a robust perennial plant with a very large woody taproot. It looks like a typical member of the parsley (Apiaceae) family. It is usually 50 to 150 cm, but can be up to 200cm, tall at maturity. It has several stout, glabrous and ascending stems. The large leaves are ternate-pinnately dissected and both basal and cauline. The lowest leaves are largest. The inflorescence comprises compound umbels. There are 10-30 rays to the umbel and one can clearly distinguish the umbellets at anthesis. The flowers are yellow or, rarely, purple. The fruit are elliptic with narrow wings (after Cronquist et al. 1997).
Ecology Comments: Generally, Lomatium dissectum is described as growing in dry upland areas. However, in south central Idaho the author of this report noticed L. dissectum was more commonly in drainage bottoms where there was slightly more seasonal water and in northern California the only population observed near one National Forest was growing along a creek. Little has been reported on the ecology of L. dissectum and it is unknown whether any of the varieties exhibit a preference for areas where the potential for water harvesting exists. According to one author, 99 percent of Lomatium dissectum seeds are destroyed by insects every year (Klein, 2000). Plants are readily pollinated by a number of different insects, e.g. flies and bees. Pollination generally occurs through geitonogamy, with the pistil of one flower being pollinated by the anthers of adjacent flowers.
Habitat Comments: Lomatium dissectum grows on open, often rocky or talus, slopes and dry meadows from the foothills and plains to an elevation of approximately 2600m in the mountains. It is also able to tolerate partial shade. It readily colonizes roadbanks and other disturbed rocky sites that are similar to its natural habitats.
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Commercial Importance: Indigenous crop, Minor cash crop
Economic Uses: FOOD, MEDICINE/DRUG
Production Method: Wild-harvested
Economic Comments: Lomatium dissectum is used primarily for respiratory ailments e.g. for colds, flu, viral sore throats, and congestion. It is an antiviral medicine and an immune stimulant. Lomatium was used, particularly in the southwestern United States, during the influenza pandemic of 1917 with reportedly good results. Tetronic acids and a glucoside of luteolin appear to be the main active anti-microbial constituents in L. dissectum root.

Use of extracts containing the resin (pssibly the coumarins) can, in some people, cause a whole-body rash (hives). Lomatium dissectum may also lead to nausea in some people (VanWagenen and Cardellina, 1986; Moore, 1993). L. dissectum may be poisonous to livestock in the early spring (Blankinship, 1905). Ichthyotoxicity of L. dissectum extracts has been traced to tetronic acis (VanWagenen BC, et al. 1988).

Prices for this species were found as follows:

Lomatium dried root: $34.50/lb; $515.00/25lb, FrontierT'; L. dissectum (fresh root): $7.50/1oz, Wind River Herbs.com; L. dissectum : $5.75/0.06 lbs (1oz),Magic garden.com; Lomatium: Fresh Root, $ 4.75/fluid oz, Herb Pharm at AllHerb.com; Root extract/tincture: Lomatium dissectum, $9.25/1oz ; $32.35/4oz , The Herbalist, Indiana; Lomatium dissectum : $13.65/100gm, Wind River Herbs.com; Lomatium dissectum : $10.50/2 oz., Medicinas Del Bosque, New Mexico, $7.00/oz wholesale

Mixed extracts: Lomatium & St. John's Wort: $ 4.98/29 fluid oz, Nature's Answer (Vitacost web outlet); St. John's /Lomatium :$ 7.28/1 oz, Cyberselect; St. John's & Lomatium: $ 7.77/1 fl oz, (at Nutri-mart web outlet); Lomatium - St. John's Wort Compound: $ 7.80/1 fl oz (at Nutri-mart web outlet).

Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences of Lomatium dissectum are defined by any naturally occurring population. L. dissectum occurs on ridges, slopes, and in gentle drainages.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 2 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: EOs are separated by either:
(1) A substantial man made barrier to colonization (e.g. an interstate).
(2) A substantial natural barrier (e.g. a canyon >200m wide and >10m deep or significant peak where potential habitat does not occur).
(3) A distance of at least 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) of unoccupied but suitable habitat. Smaller distances between stands can be recorded as sub-EOs.
(4) A distance of at least 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) of land unsuitable for colonization. Smaller distances between stands can be recorded as sub-EOs.

Separation Justification: A conservative estimate of relatedness has been made when considering distances between EOs and sub-EOs. A distance of at least 2 km between EOs in suitable habitat is selected because although L. dissectum can occur in quite large stands extending over several acres, plants in small clusters can also be found with a patchy distribution within the same type of area. Although pollination is most often within flower clusters those more isolated individuals may experience cross pollination with neighboring plants and are possibly related to plants that have since died that were between the now more separated clusters. A shorter distance was chosen if unsuitable habitat exists between plants or groups of plants because seed dispersal is likely to be relatively localized. The seed, a winged dehiscent schizocarp, is dispersed primarily by wind or, potentially, water.
Date: 26Dec2000
Author: J.A.R. Ladyman, Ph.D.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 25Jul2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Juanita A. R. Ladyman, Ph.D. (2000), rev. L. Morse (2002)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 26Dec2000
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): JUANITA A. R. LADYMAN, PH.D.

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Blankinship, J.W. 1905. Native economic plants of Montana. Montana Agricultural Experimental Station. Bulletin 56.

  • Cronquist, A., A.H. Holmgren, N.H. Holmgren, J.L. Reveal, P.K. Holmgren. 1997. Intermountain Flora, Volume 3, Part A Subclass Rosidae (except Fabales). The New York Botanical Gardens. Bronx, New York. 446 pp.

  • Hickman, J. C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 1400 pp.

  • Hitchcock, C.L., Cronquist, M., Ownbey, and J.W. Thompson. 1984. Ericaceae through Campanulaceae. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part IV. 510 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Klein, Robyn. 2000. Herbalist AHG, Instructor, Sweetgrass School of Herbalism. Editor, Robyn's Recommended Reading. http://www.rrreading.com/oldhrbs.html.

  • Moore, M. 1993. Medicinal plants of the Pacific West. Red Crane Books, Santa Fe, New Mexico. 360 pp.

  • Moss, E.H. 1994. Flora of Alberta. Second Edition revised by J.G. Packer. University of Toronto Press, Toronto.

  • Scoggan, H.J. 1978-1979. The flora of Canada: Parts 1-4. National Museums Canada, Ottawa. 1711 pp.

  • Thompson, J.N. 1998. Coping with multiple enemies: 10 years of attack on Lomatium dissectum plants. Ecology 79(7):2550-54.

  • Torrey, J., and A. Gray. 1838-1840. A flora of North America. Volume I. Wiley and Putnam. New-York. (Reprinted, 1969, Hafner Publ. Co., New York)

  • Vanwagenen, B. C., Huddleston, J., Cardellina, J.H. 1988. Native American food and medicinal plants. 8. Water soluble constituents of Lomatium dissectum. Journal of Natural Products. 51(1):136-41.

  • Vanwagenen, B.C., and J.H. Cardellina. 1986. Native Amrican food and medicinal plants. 7. Antimicrobial tetronic acids from Lomatium dissectum. Tetrahedron 42:1117.

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