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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Purple Sweet-cicely - Osmorhiza purpurea

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Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR
C-value: 6

Agency Status


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General Description
Stems erect, often branched above, 15–30 cm. Herbage glabrous to sparsely hirsute, non-aromatic. Leaves biternate; leaflets coarsely toothed to incised, 1–6 cm long. Umbels: peduncles becoming 2–8 cm long; rays ascending, 2–5 cm long; involucre and involucel absent. Flowers white; stylopodium discoid. Mericarps hispid, linear-oblong, 8–10 mm long, concavely narrowed to the tip (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
AK to CA, ID and MT (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 28

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Moist coniferous forest, thickets, often along streams; valleys, montane (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus impatiens (Colla and Dumesh 2010).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141:39-68.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • 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.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Purple Sweet-cicely"
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Citation for data on this website:
Purple Sweet-cicely — Osmorhiza purpurea.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from