Fernleaf Biscuitroot ~ Bundle of 3 Bare-root

Current Stock:
Due to high order volume, bare root orders may take until mid/late February to arrive.
Other Names:
Indian Parsley, Fernleaf Desert-parsley, Fern-leaved Desert-parsley, Chocolate Tips, Fernleaf Lomatium
Latin Name:
Lomatium Dissectum

Fernleaf Biscuitroot is a drought-tolerant herb, native to the Western states, with edible roots, leaves, and seeds, beautiful flowers, and many medicinal uses.

***NOTE: Lomatium Nudicaule, an equally powerful medicinal plant (and an even better edible), is also now available.***

Edible Uses

The starchy root vegetable of this native food can be eaten cooked or ground into flours, with a unique, earthy and spicy flavor.   The young leaves and shoots are a hardy spring green, eaten raw or cooked, with a taste like parsley.  And the seeds are especially aromatic and spicy like Carraway - a great flavoring agent for soups and stews.   

Lomatium was used as a panacea for a wide variety of ailments, from respiratory infections to skin complaints to digestion issues to arthiritis.  It is a powerful anti-viral and anti-biotic.

CAUTION:  Fernleaf Biscuitroot can resemble Poison Hemlock in the wild.  Confirm identification before any wild harvest.

Ornamental Qualities

Fernleaf Biscuitroot is a perennial herb that brings a lush appearance to dryland gardens (but it can handle wet, too).  Resprouting every spring from its underground taproot, it grows graceful fern-shaped leaves and yellow to purple carrot-like flowers.  A great addition to any herb patch, or amidst other sun-loving perennial herbs like Indian Celery and Black Sunflower.

Environment and Culture

Fernleaf Biscuitroot’s wild home is in dry meadows, rocky hillsides, and coastal bluffs through the West.  Its' leaves provides critical early-spring forage for many wildlife species; its flowers attract many native pollinators; and its seeds feed many birds.  It can be found growing in the wild alongside Black Sunflower and Indian Ricegrass.

Northwest Native American tribes today still value this special plant as food, medicine, and family.  Despite great cultural losses, they continue to work towards stewarding and restoring wild populations, both strengthening the integrity of the ecology and sustaining their cultural heritage and wisdom.  These strong and recovering peoples and plants deserve our respect, gratitude, and reparations. (Learn more & how to help on our Charitable Giving page.)

Harvest, Care, and Preparation

If you have gophers in the area, care must be taken to protect roots from predation.  Besides this, Lomatium are quite easy to care for, and need very little water.  They spread by seed, which can be manually re-planted to increase the patch size.  

It takes several years to develop a large taproot.  Harvesting the root requires digging the entire plant, and is best done during dormancy of Fall/Winter.  The root can then be cleaned, peeled, and cooked like a parsnip.  Serve alongside other root crops.  See our blog for a great recipe.

The leaves and young shoots are an early spring treat, easily plucked or cut and added to raw salads or vegetable dishes.  Only harvest a few young shoots from each plant each spring.  

Seeds are mature in mid-summer and can be easily stripped or shaken from the plant and stored as a seasoning - used ground or whole in many dishes like Carraway seed.

Native Range: Western States
USDA zones: 5-9
Ease of Care: Easy
Deer Resistance: Low-Moderate
Light Requirements: Full Sun
Soil Type: Prefers loose, well-drained.
Water Requirements: Dry to Moist
Pollination: Self-fertile
Bearing Age: 2 yrs from seed
Size at Maturity: to 3 feet
Plant Spacing: 24 inches 
Bloom Time: Spring
Harvest Time: All year

Our policy lasts 30 days. If 30 days have gone by since your purchase, unfortunately we can’t offer you a refund or exchange. To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging. Gift cards are non-refundable. Once your return is received and inspected, we will send you an email to notify you that we have received your returned item. We will also notify you of the approval or rejection of your refund. If you are approved, then your refund will be processed, and a credit will automatically be applied to your credit card or original method of payment, within a certain amount of days.