Fernleaf Biscuitroot - Lomatium dissectum
(see State Rank Reason below)
MNPS Threat Rank
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
This species occurs over a wide area of northwest Montana, where it grows on open talus, bedrock and scree. It may over time be vulnerable to displacement by Centaurea maculosa or losses from herbicide spray and drift. Lomatium dissectum is currently not rare, but its status should be reviewed periodically (each 10 years?).
Plants caulescent. Stems ascending, 15–100 cm from a mostly simple caudex. Herbage glabrous to puberulent, mildly aromatic. Leaf blades 8–25 cm long, broadly ovate, 3 to 4 times pinnately divided; ultimate segments crowded, linear, 2–8 × ca. 1 mm. Umbels: peduncles 8–50 cm; rays ca. equal 2–6 cm long; involucel bracts linear 5–15 mm long. Flowers yellow. Mericarps glabrous, elliptic, 7–13 mm long, marginal wings ca. 0.5 mm long; oil tubes inconspicuous (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
Our plants are variety multifidum
(Nutt.) Mathias & Constance
Lomatium dissectum should not easily be confused with other Lomatium species in Montana. It could be mistaken with Ligusticum filicinum or L. tenuifolium, which tend to grow in more mesic habitats. Lomatium dissectum has either yellow or purplish flowers while Ligusticum flowers are white.
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).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Stony soil of open slopes, grasslands, thickets, open forest; valleys to lower subalpine (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Forcella, F. 1977. Flora, chorology, biomass and productivity of the Pinus albicaulis-Vaccinium scoparium association. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 99 pp.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Martinka, R.R. 1970. Structural characteristics and ecological relationships of male blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus (Say)) territories in southwestern Montana. Ph.D Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 73 p.
- Simanonok, M. 2018. Plant-pollinator network assembly after wildfire. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 123 p.