Shoe Buttons, Snakeroot, Satellite Plant
- Eudicots are a major lineage of flowering plants; see family for general characteristics
- Carrot / Parsley Family (Apiaceae)
- Perennial herb
- Basal and alternate (1 leaf at each junction with stem)
- Deeply divided into several roughly-toothed lobes
- Long, thick leaf stalks (petioles)
- Grows from a taproot
- Inflorescence (flower arrangement) is a densely-packed, reddish-purple ball of flowers
- Each flowerhead has around 20 bisexual and male-only flowers
- Stamens (male flower parts) extend beyond the 5 tiny, curling petals
- Ovary inferior (below the attachment of other flower parts)
- Fruit is a schizocarp (a dry fruit that splits into 2 single-seeded segments)
- Height to 2 ft.
- Native to California
- Outside California, grows on the west coast of North America from British Columbia to Baja California, Mexico
- Grows at elevations between 65 and 6,070 ft.
Uses (Picking or removing any natural material from public land is illegal)
- Native people used a decoction of the root as a cure-all and applied an infusion of leaves to snakebites
- Sanicula (san-IK-yoo-la) – from the diminutive of the Latin sanare, meaning “to heal”
- bipinnatifida (bye-pin-a-TIF-i-da)- from the Latin for “twice pinnately cut,” referring to the leaf
- Pollinated by insects
- Seeds have curved prickles, which can attach to fur or clothing, enabling dispersal
- Edgewood has 5 native sanicles (Sanicula species)
- Purple sanicle is the only one with reddish-purple, ball-shaped flowers
- Found in grasslands
- See iNaturalist for observations of this plant
- Flowers February – May
Alexander, E.B. 2010, Oct. & 2011, Jan. Serpentine Soils and Why They Limit Plant Survival and Growth. Fremontia, vol. 38:4/39:1, pp. 28-31.
Safford, H.D. 2010, Oct. & 2011, Jan. Serpentine Endemism of the California Flora. Fremontia, vol. 38:4/39:1, pp. 32-39.
Safford, H.D. and Miller, J.E.D. 2020. An Updated Database of Serpentine Endemism in the California Flora. [manuscript accepted by] Madrono, California Botanical Society, Northridge, California.