Non-technical Description: Absaroka biscuitroot is a taprooted perennial herb 10-25 cm high with 1 or 2 stem leaves. The leaves are up to 11 cm long and 10 cm wide, rough from short stiff hairs, and are elliptic in outline but divided pinnately 3-times into narrow leaflets. The foliage has a distinct celery odor when crushed. Many minute yellow flowers with 5 petals are borne in a flat-topped tight cluster with 0-6 inconspicuous linear bracts at the base (involucel). Flower clusters are arranged at the ends of 5-8 stalks in an umbrella-like inflorescence (umbel). Fruits are 5-8 mm long and 3-5 mm wide, oblong-elliptic, glossy, and have two narrow wings. Flowering from May-June. (Evert 1983; Mills & Fertig 1996).
Similar Species: Lomatium cous has flower cluster bracts (involucel) that are elliptic and often connected. The leaves of Cymopterus terebinthinus smell like anise when crushed (Marriott 1988).
Habitat: On volcanic or limestone derived soil or scree, in sagebrush-grassland, grassland, open Douglas-fir, and riparian creek bottom communities with little herbaceous vegetation. Slopes are usually steep and south-facing.Elevation 5,200-10,800 feet.
References: Evert, E.F. 1983. A new species of Lomatium (Umbelliferae) from Wyoming. Madrono 30(3): 143-146.Marriott, H.J. 1988. Survey of sensitive plant species on Shoshone National Forest. Unpublished report prepared for Shoshone National Forest by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, WY.Mills, S. and W. Fertig. 1996. Field guide to rare and Sensitive plants of the Shoshone National Forest. Report prepared by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, WY.
Author: Walter Fertig, Moenave Botanical Consulting, Kanab, UT. April 2017