Random Plant: Canyonlands biscuitroot

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Canyonlands biscuitroot (Lomatium latilobum, Apiaceae) photographed 04/15/2014 at Arches National Park, Utah.

Canyonlands biscuitroot (Lomatium latilobum, Apiaceae) is limited to isolated areas of southeast Utah and extreme west-central Colorado. This perennial grows only in crevices and slot canyons with loose sandy soil formed from weathered Entrada and Navajo sandstone. It inhabits desert shrublands and pinyon-juniper woodlands, and is most conspicuous in the spring when it flowers.

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Canyonlands biscuitroot (Lomatium latilobum, Apiaceae) photographed 04/15/2014 at Arches National Park, Utah.

The yellow five-petaled flowers are tiny but grow in dense attractive clusters. They appear on the ends of shoots bearing pinnately compound leaves. After this plant has been pollinated by insects it produces dry seed-bearing fruit.

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Canyonlands biscuitroot (Lomatium latilobum, Apiaceae) photographed 04/15/2014 at Arches National Park, Utah.

Canyonlands biscuitroot is a rare plant and is listed as “critically imperiled (G1)” by NatureServe.  It’s particularly susceptible to disturbance, and trampling by people, vehicles, and livestock has a detrimental effect on its limited population. In spite of the threats to this rare species it is not yet listed under the Endangered Species Act.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, National Parks, Random Plant and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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