Fern leaf biscuitroot
The central Rocky Mountains, and some adjacent areas
From 15 to 40 inches
Wooded slopes; 5,000 to 11,000 feet
Alternate, up to 10 inches long, divided 3 times into linear lobes or leaflets, generally less than 0.1 inches wide
The light green, hairless, ridged stems of ligusticum filicinum grow vertically upwards, and branch a few times, bearing large, finely-divided leaves at the base and widely-spaced intervals higher up (often there is just one stem leaf). Stem leaves are smaller, with fewer leaflets. The leaflets, or lobes, are linear in outline, and narrow; the length is more than three times the width.
The inflorescence is a compound umbel typical of the apiaceae family, formed of 12 to 20 umbellets supported by rays of between 1 and 3 inches. Umbellets typically contain about a dozen flowers, each of which have five white lobes alternating with five stamens, centered on a spherical, pale yellow ovary. There are no bracts or bractlets.