Plant Image
Flower head

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Pastinaca sativa - wild parsnip

Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Apiaceae

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Max Licher @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Biennial or perennial
General Desc: Tall stout plant with thick, cream-colored taproots.
Identification notes: Thick taproots; strongly flattened, ovate fruit without wings; pinnately compound large, sharply toothed leaflets; no flower bracts; axillary and terminal flower clusters distinguish this from other genus. Only species in this genus.
Height: 3 to 4 feet


Habitat Description: Parsnip prefers full to partial sun, moist conditions and fertile soil.
Plant Communities: Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 5000 - 7200 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Yellow     Shape: Regular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: May - Jun
Description: The flower stalk develops in the second year with 5 yellow petals that initially curl inward. Each flower produces 1 seed.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Compound     Leaf Shape: Palmate     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate and opposite     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Stem is conspicuously angled and grooved. Leaves are deeply lobed with toothed margins.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Light brown   
Fruit Type: Achene
Fruit Notes: Fruit can be round to oblong.
Seed Notes: Seeds are flat and winged.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Content Questions/Comments: Email Mary Barnes  
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