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  Accurate identification of the several dozen species of Lomatium is, according to Intermountain Flora, "notoriously difficult....  Some species are highly variable...." Both fruits and flowers are often necessary for identification.  Intermountain Flora further observes that "the distinction between Cymopterus and Lomatium is subject to failure". Ordinarily one or more of the Cymopterus dorsal seed ribs have wings; Lomatium seed ribs do not have wings"Cymopterus newberryi completely bridges the difference.  In this species the dorsal wings vary from nearly or fully as large as the lateral ones to poorly developed or even obsolete".

   "Loma" is Greek for "border" and refers to the small wings of the fruit.  The genus was named by Constantine Rafinesque in 1819.

Lomatium minimum
Lomatium minimum

Lomatium minimum (Little Lomatium)
Apiaceae (Parsley Family)

Montane. Meadows. Summer.
Knoll above Robertson Pasture Trail, Abajo Mountains, Utah, August 16, 2011.

Lomatium minimum is but two-to-twelve centimeters tall with flower stems not much more than a few centimeters taller. The plants pictured on this page grow on a rocky knoll at 10,400 feet and none of the many hundreds of plants were more than 3 centimeters tall. Unfortunately we found only one plant in flower and for some strange reason, I did not photograph the centimeter-wide yellow flower. 

We have visited this knoll a number of times but never before noticed these cute miniatures. Apparently no one else ever has either, for these are a San Juan County, Utah record and the specimens I collected will be sent to the BYU Herbarium. As the map below indicates, this plant had previously been found in only three Utah counties -- and nowhere else.

After discovering this plant near Bryce Canyon, Mathias named it Cogswellia minima in 1932; he renamed it Lomatium minimum in 1937.

Lomatium minimum

Lomatium minimum

Lomatium minimum

Lomatium minimum
Apiaceae (Parsley Family)
 

Montane. Meadows. Summer.
Knoll above Robertson Pasture Trail, Abajo Mountains, Utah, August 16, 2011.

Flower petals have fallen but the developing seeds have a beauty of their own.

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

Lomatium minimum

Range map for Lomatium minimum