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Wild Parsnip

Pastinaca sativa

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Apiales
Family:
Apiaceae (Carrot)
Type:
Flower
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Habitats:
Farmland, grassland, meadows, roadsides, wasteland.

Flower:
֍
Yellow, 5 petals
 
Yellow umbels to 10cm wide, no bracts.
Fruit:
Oval, flat and narrowly winged, up to 7mm long.
Leaves:
Once or twice pinnate, alternate leaves with toothed margins, approximately 40cm in length. The leaflets are broad and sometimes lobed. Similar looking is the subspecies "hortensis" (the Garden Parsnip). Garden Parsnip has a few short, straight hairs, rather than the many long and wavy hairs of Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa ssp. sativa).
Aroma:
Smells pungent, similar to cultivated Parsnip.
Other Names:
Bird's-nest, Common Parsnip, Field Parsnip, Hart's-eye, Poison Parsnip.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map