Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Osmorhiza berteroi
mountain sweet-cicely

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; southern Alaska to California, east to the Rocky Mountains, Great Lakes region, and eastern North America.

Habitat: Forest understory and edge, from near sea level to middle elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: April-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Generalist


Somewhat short-hairy perennial from a well-developed taproot, the 1-3 stems 3-10 dm. tall.


Leaf blades biternate, the leaflets thin, narrow to broadly ovate, coarsely toothed to incised, 2-7 cm. long and 1-5.5 cm. wide; basal leaves several, long-petiolate; cauline leaves 1-3, sub-sessile; stem branched above and producing several small umbels.


Inflorescence of loose, compound umbels, the long peduncles rising from leaf axils as well as terminal, the peduncles 5-25 cm. long; the 3-5 rays ascending-spreading, 2-12 cm. long; involucre and involucel wanting; calyx teeth obsolete; flowers usually greenish-white, occasionally yellowish.


Fruit linear-oblong, 12-22 mm. long, concavely narrowed toward the summit, densely covered with ascending hairs at least toward the base; stylopodium conic, about as high as wide.

Accepted Name:
Osmorhiza berteroi DC.
Publication: Prodr. [A. P. de Candolle] 4: 232. 1830.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Osmorhiza brevipes (J.M. Coult. & Rose) Suksd.
Osmorhiza chilensis Hook. & Arn. [HC, IMF3, JPM, VPBC1]
Osmorhiza divaricata (Britton) Suksd.
Osmorhiza intermedia
Osmorhiza nuda Torr.
Osmorhiza nuda Torr. var. brevipes (Coult. & Rose) Jeps [IMF]
Osmorhiza nuda Torr. var. divaricata (Britton) Jeps
Scandix divaricata (Britton) Koso-Pol. [IMF]
Washingtonia brevipes Coult. & Rose [IMF]
Washingtonia divaricata Britton
Washingtonia intermedia
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Osmorhiza berteroi in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Osmorhiza berteroi checklist entry

OregonFlora: Osmorhiza berteroi information

E-Flora BC: Osmorhiza berteroi atlas page

CalPhotos: Osmorhiza berteroi photos

45 photographs:
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