California Hedge Parsley (Yabea microcarpa)



  • Provincial: Yellow – S3S4 (2022)
  • COSEWIC: Not ranked
  • SARA: Not ranked
  • Global: G5? (1990)
  • Galiano Island Status: Confirmed


California Hedge Parsley is a slender annual herb growing from a taproot. It has a single or branched stem and ranges from 10 to 40 cm tall. The white flowers are arranged in multi branched clusters and the fruits are oblong flattened side to side.


California Hedge Parsley occurs within Garry Oak and associated ecosystems and is found from vernally moist grassy slopes and rock outcrops to closed canopy Garry oak, Douglas-fir woodlands, and Big-Leaf Maple stands. Most of the sites are on hilly terrain on south facing slopes in shallow-soiled open sites.


California hedge-parsley is native to western North America, where it ranges from southwestern British Columbia southward along both sides of the Cascade Mountains in Washington to Arizona and Baja California. In British Columbia, California hedge parsley is known only from southeastern Vancouver Island and the adjacent Gulf Islands. There are currently 17+ known occurrences distributed over a small geographic area spanning Malahat Drive north of Victoria, Duncan, Salt Spring Island, Galiano Island and Saturna Island.


The primary threat to existing populations is habitat destruction associated with urbanization. Competition from introduced species also threatens to degrade both existing and potential habitat. Heavy grazing by sheep and/or goats at some Gulf Island sites also represents a potential threat.

Galiano Status

Populations have been documented at Matthews Point and Mount Sutil; potential habitat is noted at the Millard Learning Centre. Threats to these populations include competition from introduced species – especially Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius)  and shading from conifer in-fill.

Photo Credit

Paul G. Johnson / NPS

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