Fringed Grass-of-Parnassus
Parnassia fimbriata Koenig
Family: Saxifragaceae, Saxifrage
Genus: Parnassia
Other names: Rocky Mtn. grass of Parnassus
Nomenclature: fimbriata = fringed (petals)
Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
Medicinal plant
No edibility data

General: perennial from short, rather stout rootstocks, from slightly ascending to nearly erect. Flowering stems 1 to several, mostly 15-30 cm tall, the bract cordate and clasping, mostly 5-15 mm long, borne from slightly below to considerably above midlength of the stem.

Leaves: basal, with stalks about 3-10 cm long. Leaf blades mostly 2-4 cm broad, broadly cordate to reniform, glossy, hairless.

Flowers: solitary, white. The 5 petals 5-7-veined, 8-12 mm long, about twice as long as the calyx lobes, obovate but narrow at the base and with numerous long thread-like fringes at the inner edges. Calyx lobes broadly lanceolate, 4-7 mm long, usually 5-veined, entire or more commonly with coarse edges, at least toward the rounded tip. The 5 staminodia yellowish, thickened and scalelike, lobed. Filaments stout, about equaling the calyx segments, the anthers 2-2.5 mm long. July-September.

Fruits: ovoid capsules, about 1 cm long, with many angular seeds.


Bogs, wet meadows, and stream banks, lower montane to arctic-alpine zone, in w., c. and n.e. parts of MT. Also from AK and w. Alberta to CA, WY, CO and NM.
Medicinal Uses

The Cheyenne used a tea of powdered leaves given to small babies for dullness or sickness in the stomach. The Gosiute Indians made a poultice of plant applied or plant used as wash for venereal diseases.

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