Ontario Wildflowers website

Sweet Cicely
Osmorhiza claytonii

Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii) Other common names: Clayton's Sweetroot, Sweet Jarvil, Woolly Sweet Cicely

Other scientific names: Myrrhis claytonii, Osmorhiza brevistylis, Washingtonia claytoni

French names: Osmorhize de Clayton

Family: Parsley Family (Apiaceae)

Distinctive features: Fuzzy stem and leaves, sparse cluster of small white flowers.

Similar species:
  •   Aniseroot (Osmorhiza longistylis) - Very similar, but stems smooth. Anise-like smell. The flowers are denser, not as sparse.

  •   Honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis) - Flowers are smaller.

  •   Wild Chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris) - Seeds have curly tips.

Flowers: Spring;  White;  5 parts (petals)

Leaves: Alternate, Compound, Toothed

Stem: Fuzzy/woolly.

Habitat: Forests

Lifespan: Perennial.  

Books: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 224    Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowers: 52    ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario: 129   

Native/Non-native: Native

Notes: Sweet Cicely is very similar to Aniseroot (Osmorhiza longistylis). It is distinguished by its fuzzy stems (Aniseroot has smooth stems).

Photographs: 60 photographs available, of which 10 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

Overall view of a flowering plant. Note the fuzzy stems.

Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

Closer view of the very loose flower clusters.

Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

Closeup of a couple of individual flowers.

Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

Typical young leaf.

Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

A cluster of flower buds.

Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

Seeds forming.

Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

The remains of Sweet Cicely in the winter, showing its typical straggly growth form.

Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

Typical branch pattern of this species.

Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

Closeup of seeds. These persist through the winter.

Range map for Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)