E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Pastinaca sativa L.
common parsnip (wild parsnip)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #30120)

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Distribution of Pastinaca sativa
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Species Information

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Stout, aromatic biennial herb from a stout taproot; stems erect, .3-1.8 m tall.
Pinnately compound, stem leaves progressively reduced, basal leaves up to 50 cm long and nearly half as wide; leaflets pinnately cleft.
Inflorescence of compound umbels on terminal and lateral stalks; flowers yellow; spokes 15-25, unequal.
Broadly elliptic, 5-6 mm long, strongly flattened crosswise, glabrous.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Fields, roadsides and waste places in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Pastinaca sativa var. pratensis Pers.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References