The Main Plant entry for Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Parsnips.

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Biennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Uses: Medicinal Herb
Cut Flower
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Depth to plant seed: 0.2 inch
Suitable for wintersowing
Sow in situ
Pollinators: Various insects


Posted by wildflowers (North East Texas - Zone 7b) on Jan 5, 2014 4:09 PM

Wild parsnips are a biennial root vegetable, completing their life cycle over two years. Extremely hardy, they can be left in the ground over winter when they become sweetest in flavor. Leave a few roots in the ground to develop pretty spring flowers and they will attract lots of beneficial predatory insects to your garden.

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Posted by Weedwhacker (Ford River, Michigan UP - Zone 4b) on Jul 30, 2014 4:27 PM

This native of Eurasia is a seriously invasive, non-native species in our area. It seems important to note that there are chemicals in the leaves, stems, and flowers that can cause skin rashes, burns, and blisters, especially in the presence of sunlight. Please use caution if you are thinking about growing this plant.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Yellow Wildflower? by Natalie May 22, 2014 8:26 PM 8
Wild parsley? by wildflowers May 5, 2014 11:41 AM 2
Any ideas? by threegardeners Jul 5, 2013 2:47 AM 27

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