Osmorhiza berteroi (Western Sweet Cicely) - photos and description



Fruit narrows at apex

Fruit narrows at apex.

Fruit narrows at apex.





Basal leaf in above photo.

General: Woodland perennial with stems erect, branching towards the top. Stems pubescent at bottom, sparingly hairy at top.

Flowers: Flowers greenish-white in compound umbels, flowers measured to 3 mm diameter. There are no involucral bracts.

Fruit: Fruit linear, narrows at the apex. We measured a fruit at 10 mm long by 1 mm wide.

Leaves: Basal leaves if present are long-stemmed, stem leaves are alternate. Leaflets serrate with a small spine at the end of the tooth. We measured an end leaflet at 30 mm long by 22 mm wide. Petioles pubescent.

Height: Height is listed in Flora of Alberta to 100 cm, we measured plants to 64 cm tall.

Habitat: Forest in the Cypress Hills.

Abundance: This plant is extremely rare, ranked as an S1 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre. We have found it several times in the Cypress Hills.

Origin: Native.

Synonym: Listed in some of the field guides we use as Osmorhiza chilensis.

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

- Osmorhiza longistylis has fruit with long styles. Also, 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: The above photos were taken June 22nd, rich mixed woods, Cypress Hills, about 400 km south west of our home in Regina, SK.