Parsnip

Pastinaca sativa L. ssp. sativa

Synonyms - Pastinaca sativa ssp. heischmannii, Peucedanum sativum

Order: Apiales

Family: Apiaceae

Names:

Pastinaca is Latin for Parsnip.
Sativa is Latin for sown or planted referring to it as the cultivated form.
Parsnip

Other Names:

Summary:

A hairy, aromatic root vegetable crop with light green leaves composed of 5-9 leaflets with toothed edges.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

First leaves:

Leaves:

Lower leaves divided to the midrib into 2-11 leaflets.
Stipules -
Petiole - Winged with a clasping base.
Blade - Of leaflet, egg shaped to oblong or triangular, 20-100 mm long x 10-50 mm wide, lobed and sharply toothed, aromatic. Covered with short fine straight hairs.
Stem leaves -

Stems:

Erect, angular and finely grooved, striped, hollow between nodes, 500-1800 mm tall, aromatic. Small hairs.

Flower head:

Large compound umbel, with 6 to more than 20 different length branches (rays) with fine, short straight hairs. Each umbel 30-100 mm diameter. Terminal umbels with bisexual flowers on the outside and male flowers toward the centre. Side umbels with male flowers only.1-2 or no bracts below the flowers.
Carpophore forked and persistent.

Flowers:

Yellow.
Ovary -
Sepals - None or minute.
Petals - Yellow, incurved tip.
Stamens -
Anthers -

Fruit:

Almost flat, egg shaped, smooth, 5-6 mm long x 2-3 mm wide. Fruitlets with 3 thin ribs on the back and 2 flat ribs on the side which form a flat, low lying wing with the ribs of the adjoining nutlet.
6 vittas not reaching the base of the fruit and tapering at each end.

Seeds:

Roots:

Swollen taproot.

Key Characters:

Stems stout.
Leaves petiolate.
Leaf segments egg shaped.
Involucre bracts none or very small and few.
Flowers yellow in compound umbels.
Fruits flattened by dorsal compression.
Fruitlets 5 ribbed, without prickles.
Vittas present.
Seed flat along the commissure.
From J.M. Black

Biology:

Life cycle:

Biennial herb.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

Flowering times:

Summer in SA.
October in Perth.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

None.

Hybrids:

Several commercial cultivars.

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Origin and History:

Europe. Eurasia. Siberia.
Introduced as a vegetable crop.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate.

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Cultivated for its edible roots.

Detrimental:

Weed of roadsides and disturbed areas.

Toxicity:

A fungal rot (Ceratocystis fimbriata) of parsnip may cause it to accumulate toxins and cause photo-sensitisation in stock.
Seeds may be toxic to ducks and leaves and flowers are occasionally reported to cause dermatitis on contact with skin.

Symptoms:

Dermatitis, photosensitisation, rarely death.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

None in the same genus.

Plants of similar appearance:

References:

Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P77. Photo.

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P663. Diagram.

Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P287-288. Diagram.

Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney). P720, 799.

Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P84.

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #940.1.

Marchant et al (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P511.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.