The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Biscuitroot
Lomatium ambiguum is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.75 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Western N. America - British Columbia and Washington to Montana.
Open slopes and flat land up to moderate elevations[
]. Usually on dry soils[
We have almost no information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in much of the country.
It can be assumed that plants will require a moist but well-drained soil in a sunny position.
This is a taxonomically very difficult genus, many of the species now included in it have at times been included in other genera[
Root - raw or cooked[
]. A staple food for some native North American Indian tribes[
]. The fresh root is rather like parsnip in flavour, though when the plant dies down the root becomes brittle with an agreeable flavour of celery[
]. The root can also be dried and ground into a powder for use as a flavouring in soups etc[
Seed - ground into a powder or eaten raw[
]. An aromatic flavour, it can be used as a flavouring in cooked foods.
Flowers and upper leaves can be used as a flavouring in salads, soups etc[
An infusion of the flowers and upper leaves has been used in the treatment of colds and sore throats[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed can be rather slow to germinate, when sown in the spring it usually takes at least 12 months to germinate. Giving it a period of cold stratification might reduce this time. The seedlings need to be pricked out into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle, and should be planted out into their permanent positions in the summer.
Fresh seed can be sown immediately in situ.
Division may be possible in spring or autumn.