by Carole Gernes, Ramsey Conservation District; CWMA Coordinator
|Wild Parsnip – A Minnesota Noxious Weed|
|Wild Parsnip leaves|
Ramsey County hopes to prevent invasive wild parsnip from becoming established in the county. Touching wild parsnip, a Minnesota Noxious Weed, may cause severe skin burns. An escaped garden plant, its seeds are spread by sticking to feet, tires and mowers.
Parsnip grows close to the ground the first year and up to five feet tall when flowering. Umbrella-shaped flower heads are two to 10-inches wide, containing many tiny yellow flowers. Leaves are feather-shaped, with many large-toothed leaflets growing from a central vein.
Wild parsnip flowers can often be confused with Golden Alexanders, a beneficial native plant. Golden Alexander leaves have small teeth along the edge and an overall palm-shaped or maple-leaf outline.
Excellent photos of Golden Alexanders may be found at www.minnesotawildflowers.info.
Although parsnip generally starts blooming later than Golden Alexanders, this year there has been some overlap.
If you suspect that a plant is parsnip, do not touch it. Please report its location by emailing: email@example.com, or 651-792-7977, giving a good description of its location and how big the patch is. Also take photos if possible.
A wild parsnip “burn” four days after contact.
Photo credit: Sam Potter
Together we can stop this problematic plant from affecting our outdoor activities.
Pastinaca sativa – Parsnip
Photo Credit: Minnesota Department of Agriculture