Anemopsis californica – Yerba Mansa

Anemopsis californica - Yerba Mansa, Bear Root

Anemopsis californica - Yerba Mansa, Bear Root

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Anemopsis californica

Common Names: Yerba Mansa, Bear Root

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Riparian. This plant almost always grows in wetlands (~ 99% of the time) here.

Flower Color: White bracts and yellow flowers

Flowering Season: Late spring, Summer

Height: To 18 inches (46 cm) tall

Description: The flower heads are yellow, cone-shaped, and surrounded by 4 to 8, unequal, 3/4-inch (2 cm) long, petal-like bracts. The leaves are green, thick and leathery, oblong in shape, and mainly basal. This plant forms large colonies.

Special Characteristics

Culturally Significant Plant – Native Americans used the roots for medicinal purposes.

Edible – The seeds are edible if ground into meal.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Order: Piperales
Family: Saururaceae – Lizard's-tail family
Genus: Anemopsis Hook. & Arn. – yerba mansa
Species: Anemopsis californica (Nutt.) Hook. & Arn. – yerba mansa

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map