Sanicula bipinnata

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Sanicula bipinnata
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Sanicula
S. bipinnata
Binomial name
Sanicula bipinnata

Sanicula pinnatifida Torr.

Sanicula bipinnata is a species of plant in the carrot family known by the common name poison sanicle.[1] It is endemic to California where it is found in low-elevation mountains and foothills, especially in the hills along the coast. It occurs in the California Coastal Range and Sierra Nevada foothills,[2] including Ring Mountain, California.[3]


It is recognizable as a relative of the carrots and parsnips with its thin stalk topped with small umbels of yellow or cream flowers. The origin of its poisonous reputation is unknown.[4] Yet despite the name, there are no current records of its toxicity in humans, though it or a related species might be toxic to horses or other stock animals.[5] It was called wene by the Miwok and used to treat venomous bites from snakes, perhaps providing a reason for the common name in English. Though they used other sanicles in the same manner.[6] The Karuk called the plant ikxash and traditionally ate the young leaves as a green, indicating the toxic reputation is undeserved.[7]


  1. ^ a b Hassler M. (2017). World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World (version May 2017). In: Roskov Y., Abucay L., Orrell T., Nicolson D., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., DeWalt R.E., Decock W., De Wever A., Nieukerken E. van, Zarucchi J., Penev L., eds. (2017). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 25 August 2017. Digital resource at . Species 2000: Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands. ISSN 2405-8858.
  2. ^ Jepson Manual. 1993 Jepson Manual Treatment: Sanicula bipinnata; University of California Press, Berkeley, Ca.
  3. ^ Hogan, C. Michael (2008). Burnham, Andy (ed.). Ring Mountain. The Megalithic Portal.
  4. ^ Burrows, George E.; Tyrl, Ronald J. (2013). "8 Apiaceae" (PDF). Toxic Plants of North America (2nd ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-8138-2034-7. OCLC 829352587. Retrieved 22 January 2016. ”As its common name implies, Sanicula bipinnata (poison sanicle) has a reputation of toxicity of unknown origin.”
  5. ^ Fuller, Thomas C.; McClintock, Elizabeth May (1986). "Angiosperms: Dicotyledons". Poisonous Plants of California. California natural history guides. 53. University of California Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0520055681. OCLC 13009854. Retrieved 22 January 2016. ”There are no current records of the toxicity of this species, but the common name poison sanicle is found in all the references. In 1917, when horses were more commonly utilized, P. B. Kennedy stated that some if not all species of Sanicula are poisonous to stock, particularly horses.”
  6. ^ Barrett, Samuel Alfred; Gifford, Edward Winslow (1997). "Foods and Medicines: The Uses of Plants: Medicines" (PDF). Miwok Material Culture: Indian Life of the Yosemite Region. Yosemite Association. p. 168. Retrieved 22 January 2016. ”Poison Sanicle (Sanicula bipinnata H. & A.). Wene (C). This plant was boiled and applied to snake bite.”
  7. ^ Schenck, Sara M.; Edward Winslow, Gifford (1952). "Karok Ethnobotany". University of California Anthropological Records. 13 (6): 386, 392. Sanicula bipinnata, poison sanicle, Karok ikxash. The young greens are eaten.

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