Purple sanicle has a flashy, eye-popping, reddish-purple, wine colored flower when looked at up close. The inflorescence is comprised of several to many compact headlike umbels. Native to the West Coast, from British Columbia down to Baja California, purple sanicle can be found growing in various habitat types, including grasslands, meadows, chaparral, woodlands and pine forests. In the Klamath-Siskiyou mountains, purple sanicle has a weak affinity for serpentine soils, but it can be found both on and off serpentine soils and is not restricted to serpentine. It is a short-lived perennial wildflower that grows from a taproot up to about 2′ tall when in flower. It goes by the additional common names: purple snakeroot, shoe buttons and gamble weed. The flowers can rarely be yellow instead of purple. Like other sanicles, the seeds are prickly. The genus name, Sanicula, from the diminutive of the Latin sanare, meaning, “to heal.” and the specific epithet, bipinnatifida, from the Latin for “twice pinnately cut,” refers to the shape of the leaf. Purple sanicle is a member of the Apiaceae (carrot) plant family. It blooms in early to late spring (March, April, or May), depending on elevation.
Purple sanicle (Sanicula bipinnatifida) seed packets contain approximately 70 seeds per packet.
Seed Germination Instructions
30-60 days cold-moist stratification. Sow outside in fall or early spring.