Osha – Ligusticum porteri, L. spp.

Overall At-Risk Score: 48

Latin Name:

Ligusticum porteri (Coult. & Rose)²;

Common Name:

Osha; Porter’s Licorice Root, Lovage¹

Family:

Apiaceae (Carrot/Parsley Family)²

Geographic Region:

Found in much of the Rocky Mountains, from Montana to the state of Chihuahua Mexico:
CO, ID, UT, AZ, NM, MT, WY, NV¹

Habitat:

Rich, fertile ravines and upland meadows. Found most frequently in late to climax stage successional meadows. L. porteri is endemic to subalpine mountain meadows, growing at elevations between 5,000 and 10,000 feet of elevation.³

Lifespan:

Perennial¹;

Reproduction:

Reaching heights up to 3 feet, L. porteri flowers in flat umbels of white flowers. Each small flower becomes a flat, ovate seed. The seed lacks any mechanisms for wind dispersion.

Ability to withstand disturbance and over harvest:

Over harvest is having a big impact on L. porteri populations in Northern Mexico, US populations are mostly threatened by recreational vehicles and grazing.

Status of Endangered/Threatened(by state):

Listed as vulnerable in Wyoming, L. porteri has a moratorium on wild harvest of it on US Forest service lands, and on state lands in Montana.³

Vulnerability of habitat/changes of habitat quality and availability:

Populations are stable in most of its US range

Demand and Relative Acreage Needed to Meet Demand:

Wild Harvesting Impact On Other Species:

L. porteri is easily confused with many lookalikes, causing unintentional harvest of non-target plants. Much of the Ligusticum genus is impacted by wild harvest, the genus contains many “wild carrot” and “licorice root” plants that are popular with foragers.

Recommendations for industrial and home use:

  1. USDA.
    https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=LIPO
  2. ITIS Report.
    https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=29532#null
  3. CITES species proposal Doc. PC. 10.9.3.
    https://www.cites.org/sites/default/files/eng/com/pc/10/PC10-9-3.pdf
  4. The University of Kansas.
    http://nativeplants.ku.edu/research/ligusticum-osha/about-osha
  5. Pollinator.org
    https://www.pollinator.org/assets/generalFiles/Osha-Ligusticum.draft.pdf

osha
Photo credit: Mimi Kamp

 

Historical Background

Coming Soon

UpS Recommendations:

 

This plant has been adopted by

herbs etc logo