Osmorhiza longistylis (Torr.) DC. - Smooth Sweet Cicely


|  back  | forward |

Osmorhiza longistylis - (image 1 of 5)



Family: Apiaceae


Rich, often moist woodland.




Most of the U.S. but absent from FL, LA, and much of the west.


Erect, anise-scented perennial from thick roots. Leaves ternately compound, the lower petiolate, upper subsessile; leaflets distinct, serrate, 1 cm or more wide. Umbels peduncled, terminal and lateral, surpassing the leaves, rays 2-8; involucral bracts 5-6, some more than 1 mm wide; involucel (secondary involucre) present at flowering; flowers often more than 10 per umbellet; petals white; sepals obsolete; mature styles nearly straight and parallel, 2-4 mm. Fruits slightly flattened laterally, narrow and elongate, not winged.


Flowers early May to late June.

Wetland indicator: Facultative Upland -

The roots and unripe schizocarps (seeds) smell and taste like anise and can be used similarly. Notice that the styles exceed the petals. In O. claytonii the styles do not exceed the petals.



Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.

The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Peterson, L. A. 1977. A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America.

Houghton Mifflin Company. New York, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.



 Michael Hough 2005