Ligusticum apiifolium

Common name: celery-leafed lovage, celery-leaved licorice-root

Scientific name: Ligusticum apiifolium

Plant family: Apiaceae

Description: Ligusticum apiifolium is an herbaceous perennial.  Stems are 3 to 4 ft. or taller, very slender with few leaves.  The whole plant is glabrous except for inflorescence and leaf-margins.  The rays of umbels are many and usually compound. The fruit is 3-5mm long, each rib prominent but not without a thin wing-like edge.[1] The flowers are usually white, pink, or light purple with compound umbels.[2]

Habitat: Ligusticum apiifolium prefers moist areas; ditches, creek banks, etc.

Range: The flowers tend to bloom in early to mid-June and grow from sea level to about 6000 feet of elevation.  Ligusticum apiifolium can be found all on the West Coast mostly on the side of roads, near fences, in coastal prairies, redwood forests, mixed evergreen forests, northern oak woodlands, and lowland areas.[3]

Historical and Contemporary Uses: The leaves are edible and can be eaten in small quantities to stimulate digestion.[4]  The Pomo Indians used this plant to help with tuberculosis.2

 

 


[1] Kozloff, Eugene. Plants of Western Oregon, Washington, and B.C.. Portland: Timber Press, 2005. 96,97. Print.

[2] Gilkey, Helen. Handbook of NW Flowering Plants. Corvallis: Oregon State College, 1946. 234. Print.

[3] CNPLX, . “California Native Plant Link Exchange.” CNPLX. CNPLX, 2/20/2010. Web. 4 Oct 2011. <http://www.cnplx.info/>.

[4] Bonady, Devon. “Ligusticum apiifolium.” Personal Interview by Mike Strauhal. 10/3/2011.

Photos: Rod Gilbert: http://www.pbase.com/image/61590945 and http://www.heritageseedlings.com/native.htm