Page author: Don Knoke
Pastinaca sativa
common parsnip, wild parsnip
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: Introduced and widely naturalized in North America; found in scattered locations in the Pacific Northwest.

Habitat: Roadsides, ditchbanks and other disturbed sites.

Flowers: May - July

Origin: Introduced; native to Europe

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Stout, leafy-stemmed, aromatic biennial from a stout taproot, 3-10 dm. tall.


Leaves pinnately compound; basal leaves up to 5 dm. long and nearly half as wide, the leaflets up to 13 cm. long and 10 cm. wide, toothed, or the lower cleft or lobed; cauline leaves progressively reduced upward.


Inflorescence of compound umbels on terminal and lateral peduncles; rays 15-25, unequal, 2-10 cm. long; involucre and involucel wanting; calyx teeth obsolete; flowers yellow.


Fruit glabrous, broadly elliptic, 5-6 mm. long and 4-5 mm. wide, strongly flattened dorsally; lateral wings narrow, dorsal ribs filiform.

Accepted Name:
Pastinaca sativa L.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Pastinaca sativa L. var. pratensis Pers.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Pastinaca sativa in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Pastinaca sativa checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Pastinaca sativa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Pastinaca sativa photos.

USDA Plants: Pastinaca sativa information.

19 photographs:
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