wild parsnip USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: PASA2
Pastinaca sativa L.
Synonym(s): wild parship

Appearance
Pastinaca sativa is a biennial/perennial herb that looks and smells similar to cultivated parsnip and can grow up to 4 ft. (1.2 m) in height.
Foliage
Leaves are alternate, compound and branched with jagged teeth. Leaflets are yellowish-green, shiny, oblong, coarsely-toothed, and diamond-shaped.
Flowers
Flowering occurs from May to June, when hundreds of yellow flowers develop. Flowers are arranged in an umbel.
Fruit
Fruits are dry, smooth, slightly winged and flattened on back. Fruits each contain two seeds, which are dispersed in the fall.
Ecological Threat
Pastinaca sativa is native to Eurasia and occurs in sunny areas with varying degrees of soil moisture. Contact with this plant can cause skin to become photosensitive; exposure to sunlight can cause severe blistering. Be aware, poison hemlock and water hemlock are close in appearance and are often confused with Pastinaca sativa. Poison hemlock has a mouse-like odor while Pastinaca sativa has a parsnip-like odor. Water hemlock prefers wet habitats whereas Pastinaca sativa prefers dry soils.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources