Parsnip – Cow

Heracleum maximum

Family Carrot (Apiaceae)
Bloom Spring, summer
Habitat Moist deciduous forest
Status Native
Cycle Perennial
Height 4-9′
Flower Flowers form large flat clusters of white flowers 4-8″ wide. Individual flowers are about 1/2″ wide and have notched petals and are often larger toward the outside edges of the clusters.
Leaf Leaves are extremely large – up to 12-18″ wide and are divided into 3 maple-leaf-like segments, each coarsely toothed and not connected to each other. Leaves are hairy on the underside.
Notes The stem is ridged and hollow and can be up to 2″ in diameter. When the plant is bruised or cut, it emits a very rancorous odor. Look for the large inflated leafstalk near the stem.

Photos