Pastinaca sativa L.  
Family: Apiaceae
wild parsnip
Pastinaca sativa image
Christopher Noll  
Etymology: Pastinaca: one source says from Latin pastino, " to prepare the ground for planting," while another says from Latin pastus, "food." This was the ancient name of the parsnip and may give a clue as to the origin of the Italian word pasta
Plants: erect, biennial, 1'-5' tall forb, first year plants a basal rosette of leaves; stems flat and ridged; long taproot; entire plant causes photo-dermatitis, avoid all contact with skin
Leaves: pinnately-divided into 5-15 lobed or cut, 2"-4" long, stalkless, broad, distinct and separated leaflets; lower leaves on long stalks, upper on shorter, sheathing stalks
Flowers: yellow, 5-parted; inflorescence a 4"-8" wide, flat, compound umbel, with 15-25 umbellets on irregular stalks; the side umbels, in time, become taller than the first-blooming, central umbel; blooms June-July
Fruits: dry, flattened in the back, smooth, side ribs slightly winged, splitting into 2 seeds- fruit: seed:
Habitat: sun; disturbed sites, old fields, roadsides, pastures
Hazardous: Careful, this plant is hazardous!
Invasiveness: Restricted Invasive - Eradicate!
Conservation Status: Introduced - naturalized; ecologically invasive
Pastinaca sativa image
Robert Bierman  
Pastinaca sativa image
Kitty Kohout  
Pastinaca sativa image
Merel R. Black  
Pastinaca sativa image
Matthew L. Wagner  
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