Spring Parsley  (Indian Parsnip)

Genus Cymopterus
Parsley Family (Apiaceae/Umbelliferae)

Spring Parsley

Spring Parsley
(Cymopterus longipes)

One of my books describes this plant as looking like a crumpled doily. In this stage the plant lies quite flat on the ground, and could be covered by your hand. The leaves are gray-green. The individual flowers are very tiny, but many of them grow together in a rounded clump (umbel).

Long-foot Spring Parsley

After the flowers have faded and the seeds begin to mature, the stem elongates and lifts the whole upper part of the plant several inches above the ground. (The Latin species name longipes means "long foot".)

The flower stems also elongate, lifting the maturing fruits even higher above the main body of the plant. This helps the seeds to disperse.

The plant has a fleshy taproot, which is edible. It was utilized as food by many western Indian tribes.