Lomatium dissectum, also known as fernleaf biscuitroot, is a native species found in Victoria, BC, and throughout western North America. It is a member of the Apiaceae family, which includes other plants such as carrots, celery, and parsley.
Lomatium dissectum is a perennial plant that can grow up to 1 meter in height. It has fern-like leaves and produces clusters of small yellow flowers that bloom in the spring. The plant prefers dry, rocky soils in open or partially shaded areas.
Lomatium dissectum has a long history of use as a food and medicine by Indigenous peoples in the Pacific Northwest. The roots of the plant are edible and were traditionally roasted, steamed, or boiled and eaten, either on their own or as a component of other dishes. The roots are high in starch and have a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. The plant was also used medicinally to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory infections and digestive issues.
Today, Lomatium dissectum continues to be used by Indigenous communities for food and medicine, as well as by some herbalists and foragers.
Pojar, J., & MacKinnon, A. (2004). Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska. Lone Pine Publishing.
Turner, N. J., & Łuczaj, Ł. J. (2019). Edible and Medicinal Wild Plants of Britain and Ireland. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Yes, the roots of Lomatium dissectum are edible and were traditionally used as a food source by Indigenous peoples in the Pacific Northwest. The roots were roasted, steamed, or boiled and eaten, either on their own or as a component of other dishes. The roots are high in starch and have a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
However, it is important to properly identify the plant before consuming any part of it, as some Lomatium species are toxic and can cause skin irritation or other symptoms if handled or ingested. Additionally, it is important to harvest wild plants sustainably and ethically, and to obtain permission from the appropriate authorities before harvesting plants on public lands.
If you are interested in consuming Lomatium dissectum or any other wild plant, it is recommended to seek out information from reputable sources and to consult with local experts who are knowledgeable about wild edible plants.