Fern-leaf Desert Parsley
Lomatium dissectum Nutt.
The Fern-leaf Desert Parsley is the the most robust of the desert parsleys. The plant grows as much as four feet tall with a tuber-like taproot.. The leaves mostly basil, are large and fern-like, divided into many small segments. It is known for inflorescence consisting of one to several umbrella-like flower clusters called umbels. The multiple umbels develop on a long, leafless stalk, with flowers that vary in color from deep purple, nearly black to pale yellow. The white anthers contrast sharply with the petals of the purple flowered form. The individual flowers are small, with five petals, five stamens, and no sepals. It flowers from April to July. The inferior ovary matures into a dry, two seeded fruit. It inhabits the the sagebrush steppe. It most frequently grows in rocky habitats, particularly on talus slopes.
Food Uses: The leaves have an odor similar to parsley. The leaves and roots are both edible. It is used as a meat flavor, and in stews or salads.
Medicinal Uses: Used by the Indians as a type of tea for treating coughs, colds, sore throats, bronchitis, flue, pneumonia, and hay fever.
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