A long-lived food and bee plant!
With a name like bisuitroot, it is unsurprising that this has long been an important food plant. For thousands of years, native people across the west have dug these roots, which can be eaten raw, or ground into a mildly sweet flour for bread.
Like other members of the carrot family, Nineleaf Biscuitroot flowers grow in an umbel, which is the vaguely umbrella-shaped flat complex of flowers. In their typical habitat, these flowers can cover the early spring landscape in a yellow blanket, intermingling with blue Camas and other bright flowers. These flowers are largely bee pollinated, but are also an important nectar source for butterflies.
This plant is well-adapted to sunny areas that become dry in the summer. Like several other plants that thrive in these locations, Nineleaf Biscuitroot tends to die back to its roots in the hottest part of the summer, and then re-sprout once the weather cools.
Nineleaf Biscuitroot has leaves that are divided into long, slender leaflets which tend to stand vertically. We think this gives the plant a well-behaved appearance that would fit into prim-and-proper ornamental plantings - so if you have an HOA or a professional-looking landscape, this may be the plant for you!
How many leaflets are there per leaf? We leave this as an excercise for the reader.
Photo Credit: By Walter Siegmund (talk) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8728797
Photo Credit: By Walter Siegmund (talk) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8713686