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Cymopterus lemmonii
Cymopterus lemmonii

Cymopterus lemmonii.  Synonym: Pseudocymopterus montanus. (Mountain Parsley)
Apiaceae (Parsley Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, meadows. Spring, summer.
Taylor Creek Trail, June 2, 2004.

The characteristic umbels (wide, rounded-to-flattened flower clusters) and finely cut, odoriferous leaves mark this as a member of the Parsley Family.  Mountain Parsley with its golden-yellow flower is widely distributed and very common in the Four Corners mountains, sometimes appearing in small scattered patches and often in very large numbers.  Its blooming season is very long, ranging from early spring (and tall plants) in the low foothills to late summer (and dwarf plants) in alpine meadows. 

Intermountain Flora indicates, that this species has "great morphological variability and uncertain generic position....  Efforts to divide it into more narrowly limited species or biologically significant varieties have been unsuccessful". You can study the variability of Cymopterus lemmonii as you encounter it; for an extreme example, compare the montane plant at left with the alpine one in the last photo on this page.

The Greek "Cym" and "pterum" come together as "Cymopterus", "waved" "wing", referring to the fruit.  "Pseudocymopterus" then is a false Cymopterus, a close look-alike, and, in fact, so close that most botanists still classify it as a Cymopterus.  This species has endured numerous name changes due, as Intermountain Flora puts it, to its "great morphological variability".

The plant was first collected for science by Augustus Fendler outside Santa Fe in 1846 or 1847 and was named Thaspium montanum by Asa Gray in 1849; it was renamed Pseudocymopterus montanus by John Coulter and Joseph Rose in 1888.  The most widely accepted name, Cymopterus lemmonii, was given by James Dorn in 1977 for a specimen collected in the Huachuca Mountains in Arizona in 1887 by John Lemmon, respected western United States collector. (More biographical information about Lemmon.)

Cymopterus lemmonii

Cymopterus lemmonii.  Synonym: Pseudocymopterus montanus. (Mountain Parsley)
Apiaceae (Parsley Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, meadows. Spring, summer.
Horse Creek Trail, June 21, 2005.

Cymopterus lemmonii

Cymopterus lemmonii.  Synonym: Pseudocymopterus montanus. (Mountain Parsley)
Apiaceae (Parsley Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, meadows. Spring, summer.
Pass Creek Trail, July 19, 2007.

Seeds have well-developed wings to small ribs.

Cymopterus lemmonii

Cymopterus lemmonii.  Synonym: Pseudocymopterus montanus. (Mountain Parsley)
Apiaceae (Parsley Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, meadows. Spring, summer.
Lizard Head Trail, July 8, 2009.

Weber indicates that Cymopterus lemmonii (which he calls "Pseudocymopterus montanus") is "extremely variable in height and leaf cutting"; the photographs on this page show the variability.

The linear leaves of the plant at left, found at 11,300 feet, are considerably different from the leaves of the above plants but the rest of the plant is clearly the same.  Once you have noticed a few plants with linear leaves, you will begin noticing many more with the same leaf cut.

Cymopterus lemmonii

Cymopterus lemmonii.  Synonym: Pseudocymopterus montanus. (Mountain Parsley)
Apiaceae (Parsley Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, meadows. Spring, summer.
Lizard Head Trail, July 8, 2009.

Cymopterus lemmonii

Cymopterus lemmonii.  Synonym: Pseudocymopterus montanus. (Mountain Parsley)
Apiaceae (Parsley Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, meadows. Spring, summer.
Lizard Head Trail, July 8, 2009.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Cymopterus lemmonii