Basically straight wild celery: these are the leaves and stems of Bare-Stem Desert Parsley (Lomatium nudicaule). Belonging to the Carrot family (Apiaceae), this plant has also been called Indian Consumption Plant (more recent use in treating 'consumption' or tuberculosis) but I think it's fair to say this is a rather outdated term.
On the coast, this plant (from my observations) produces flowering stalks which can be quite large and tender, at least large enough to consider collecting. In the drier mountainous regions where I've found it, this plant appears stunted and is mainly just leaves.
The leaves of this plant are rich in the flavor of lovage, and are most tender as they first emerge (best raw then). As the plant grows, eventually it begins to put up its flowers. Timing is key with the collection of the tender stems. A day or 2 of hot sun can make the difference between tender, and tough/fibrous. The stems are one of my all time favorite wild foods, and require a special hand. Such a unique ingredient, and it is so much like a wild celery. Some are more sweet, some are spicy and slightly bitter, I've even had some of the sweeter variety that had hints of vanilla. Epic, why not!? The flowers are very spicy and maybe not the best unless used sparingly, but the seeds that form after are much akin to celery seed. A worthy collection later in summer, especially to replant some in a different area if you ever locate this plant and/or choose to gather (please help repopulate native plants. If you collect from them, then give back. This is how we do.) Also, in case you're still reading.. this plant has a marked effect on the respiratory system, being useful in treating colds/flu, tuberculosis and as a poultice for headaches. The seeds are the more medicinal part that is used.
#nativeplants #forourfuture #manyfucksgiven #notahashtagger