CPC Plant Profile: Bradshaw's Desert-parsley
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Plant Profile

Bradshaw's Desert-parsley (Lomatium bradshawii)

Plant in flower with surrounding vegetation, in situ. Photo Credit: Ed Guerrant
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • State: OR, WA

Lomatium bradshawii was once common, inhabiting the extensive native prairies of the Willamette Valley, creating carpets of sulfur-yellow in the spring. Like many other prairie species, Bradshaw's lomatium has been adversely affected by the extensive conversion of its habitat to agricultural and other uses by humans. Today, less than 1% of the Willamette Valley remains undisturbed. Lomatium bradshawii was believed to be extinct until a graduate student at the University of Oregon re-discovered it while jogging. Since its rediscovery in 1979, extensive research has been done to understand the ecology of this species. A majority of the remaining populations in Oregon are within a 10-mile (16 km) radius of the city of Eugene. Continued growth of the city threatens the future of these sites. In Washington, two recently discovered sites contain as many plants as are found in all of Oregon. However, both sites are on private land and are not subject to legal protection.

Conservation Actions:
Participating Institutions
Taxon Lomatium bradshawii
Authority (Rose ex Mathias) Mathias & Constance
Family Apiaceae
CPC Number 2658
ITIS 29680
Common Names Bradshaw's desert-parsley | Bradshaw's lomatium | Bradshaw's parsley
Associated Scientific Names Lomatium bradshawii | Leptotaenia bradshawii
Distribution OR, WAOR: Central and Southern Willamette Valley (Benton, Lane, Linn, and Marion Counties)WA: Puget Trough, Southwestern Washington, Clark County
State Rank
State State Rank
Oregon S2
Washington S1

Moist meadows and remnant prairie patches at low elevations. Associated species include Deschampsia cespitosa, Hordeum brachyantherum, Poa pratensis, Perideridia spp., Juncus spp., Grindelia integrifolia, Microseris laciniata, and Galium cymosum.

Ecological Relationships

Lomatium bradshawii does not reproduce vegetatively (Kaye, 1992) or maintain a persistent soil seed bank (most seeds germinate the year after they fall, leaving few for remaining years). Because of this, a loss of pollinators could have an immediate effect on population numbers (Kaye and Kirkland, 1994).Flowers may be either male (stamens only) or hermaphroditic (male/female-stamens and pistil). On hermaphroditic flowers, the stigmas become receptive to pollen before the anthers shed their pollen. The first umbel on a plant will often have a majority of male flowers. By having the male and female parts of each plant temporally isolated (difference in timing of flowering), the potential for self-pollination is reduced (Kaye, 1992). A wide variety of bees, flies, wasps and beetles visit the flowers of Lomatium bradshawii and are likely pollinators (Kaye, 1992).Cattle have been shown to have both negative and positive effects on Lomatium bradshawii. Cattle eat and trample the plants and disturb the soil. Fencing has been used to effectively exclude cattle. Despite these negative impacts, carefully controlled and monitored grazing may help in maintaining the habitat of L. bradshawii, by preventing woody plant encroachment. Before European-American settlement, both natural grass fires and fires set by Native Americans served to restrict the growth of woody vegetation and keep the grasslands open. Now, cattle may provide a similar service if used carefully.


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Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source
Butterflies & Moths
Metalmark moths Bees Floral Visitor Link
Beetles Floral Visitor Link
Syrphid flies Syrphid flies Floral Visitor Link
Other flies Floral Visitor Link
Solitary bees Floral Visitor Link
Wasps Floral Visitor Link
Caddisflies Floral Visitor Link
Planthoppers Floral Visitor Link
True bugs Floral Visitor Link
Ants Floral Visitor Link

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