bland sweet cicely

(Osmorhiza claytonii)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

bland sweet cicely


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland






Moist. Woods. Partial sun to full shade.


May to June

Flower Color



12 to 36


The stems are hairy. The plant has no discernable anise odor.

In early spring the young stems are densely covered with short, spreading, white hairs.

The styles are shorter than the petals, no more than 1.5mm long.

In the inflorescence is an umbrella-like flower cluster (umbel). At the end of each stem in the umbel is another, smaller umbel, on which the flowers occur. There is a whorl of bracts beneath this secondary umbel.


Aniseroot (Osmorhiza longistylus) looks virtually identical to bland sweet cicely, but has flowers with styles longer than the petals, 2mm to 4mm long, and smells strongly of anise. It has shorter hairs or no hairs on the stems. However, at least one study (Ostertag and Jensen, 1980) has concluded that the length of hairs on the stems of both species is variable between populations of the same species—is a continuum that overlaps that of the other species—and is therefore an unreliable indicator.

Blunt sweet cicely (Osmorhiza depauperata) has no whorl of bracts beneath the secondary umbel.

Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.




Apiaceae (carrot)








No Rank:



Osmorhiza aristata var. brevistylis

Washingtonia claytonii


bland sweet cicely

Clayton’s sweetroot

hairy sweet cicely











Modified leaves at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.



Umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers or buds arising from a single point.

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  bland sweet cicely   bland sweet cicely

Compound Leaf

  bland sweet cicely   bland sweet cicely
  bland sweet cicely    


  bland sweet cicely    


  bland sweet cicely   bland sweet cicely
  bland sweet cicely   bland sweet cicely






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Other Videos
  Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

Published on May 1, 2012

Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

  Sweet Cicely and Baneberry

Published on Aug 6, 2013

Part 4 in an ongoing series of documentaries on wild edible, medicinal, and toxic plants. I'm covering "Sweet Cicely" and "Baneberry" with a focus on how to tell them apart from one another. All video footage is recorded by me on the GoPRO Hero 2. Some of the pictures taken from reputable sources on the internet.




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Avon Hills Forest SNA, North Unit

Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park

Big Woods Heritage Forest WMA

Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Boot Lake SNA

Brownsville Bluff SNA

Bur Oak WMA

Camden State Park

Cannon River Wilderness Area

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Carver Park Reserve

Cedar Mountain SNA

Chamberlain Woods SNA

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park

Chimney Rock SNA

Crow Wing State Park

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Crystal Spring SNA

Dry Sand WMA

Edward Velishek Memorial WMA

Englund Ecotone SNA

Falls Creek SNA

Flandrau State Park

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Fort Ridgely State Park

Franconia Bluffs SNA

French Regional Park

Frenchman’s Bluff SNA

Frontenac State Park

Glacial Lakes State Park

Glendalough State Park

Great River Bluffs State Park

Greenleaf Lake SRA

Greenwater Lake SNA

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Hastings Sand Coulee SNA

Hastings SNA

Hayes Lake State Park

Iron Horse Prairie SNA

Iron Springs Bog SNA

Itasca State Park

Itasca Wilderness Sanctuary SNA

Kasota Prairie

Kilen Woods State Park

King’s and Queen’s Bluff SNA

Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit

Lake Bronson State Park

Lake Byllesby Regional Park

Lake Carlos State Park

Lake Elmo Park Reserve

Lake Louise State Park

Lake Maria State Park

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Leif Mountain

Lester Lake SNA

Lost 40 SNA

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Maplewood State Park

Mary Schmidt Crawford Woods SNA

McCarthy Beach State Park

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Mille Lacs Moraine SNA

Mille Lacs WMA

Minneopa State Park

Mississippi River County Park

Monson Lake State Park

Moose Lake State Park

Mound Prairie SNA

Myre-Big Island State Park

Nelson Wildlife Sanctuary

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Ney Nature Center

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Rengstorf Unit

Ordway Prairie

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

Paul Bunyan Savanna

Partch Woods SNA

Phelps Lake WMA

Pin Oak Prairie SNA

Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

Potato Lake SNA

Prairie Creek Woods SNA

Prairie Smoke Dunes SNA

Quarry Park SNA

Rice Lake Savanna SNA

Rice Lake State Park

Ripley Esker SNA

Ritter Farm Park

River Warren Outcrops SNA

Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

Rockville County Park

Rushford Sand Barrens SNA

St. Croix Savanna SNA

St. Croix State Park

Sand Prairie Wildlife Management and Environmental Education Area

Savage Fen SNA

Savanna Portage State Park

Scenic State Park

Seminary Fen SNA

Seven Mile Creek County Park

Seven Springs WMA

Sheepberry Fen

Shooting Star Prairie SNA

Sibley State Park

Spring Beauty Northern Hardwoods SNA

Spring Creek Prairie SNA

Spring Lake Park Reserve

Stanley Eddy Memorial Park Reserve

Swedes Forest SNA

Thompson County Park

Townsend Woods SNA

Twin Lakes SNA

Uncas Dunes SNA

Upper Sioux Agency State Park

Vermillion Highlands Research Recreation and WMA

Vermillion River WMA

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Whitewater State Park

Wild River State Park

William O’Brien State Park

Wood-Rill SNA

Woodbury WMA

Woodland Trails Park




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