Osmorhiza depauperata (Blunt-Fruited Sweet Cicely) - photos and description




Fruit is widest at apex.

Fruit widest at apex.

Fruit widest at apex.



Basal leaf in above photo.

General: Woodland perennial with stems erect, branching towards the top. The lower stems sometimes reddish, and lower stems with short hairs. Roots have a strong anise (licorice) smell.

Flowers: Flowers greenish-white in compound umbels, we measured flowers to a 2 mm diameter and 4 mm long. There are no involucral bracts.

Fruit: The fruit is spatulate in shape, widest at the apex. We measured a fruit at 5 mm long, and the pedicel for the fruit to 14 mm long.

Leaves: Basal leaves if present are long-stemmed, stem leaves are alternate. Leaves trifoliate, twice divided into 3 leaflets. Leaves alternate. Leaf highlighted in photo above was 14 cm wide by 11 cm long, the end leaflet was 4 cm long by 58 mm wide. Leaflets serrate, and there is a small spine on the end of each tooth. Petioles pubescent. Long hairs on bottom of leaf, top of leaf less hairy with shorter hairs, ciliate.

Height: Height listed in Flora of Alberta to 60 cm, we measured plants to 53 cm tall.

Habitat: Rich woods.

Abundance: Listed as uncommon in Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan.

Origin: Native.

Similar species: There are three Osmorhiza species native to Saskatchewan. To identify them examine the fruit.

- Osmorhiza longistylis has fruit with long styles. Also, this species has bracts subtending the flower umbels. This species is common.

- Osmorhiza depauperata has fruit which are spatulate, widest at the apex. This species is uncommon.

- Osmorhiza berteroi has fruit which are linear and narrow at the apex. This species is extremely rare.

When and where photographed: Took the above photos June 19th and June 30th, small ravine on edge of lodgepole pine woods, Cypress Hills, about 425 km southwest of our home in Regina, SK.