Wild Parsnip

Wild parsnip has started to bloom in western Wisconsin.  This invasive biennial weed has yellow-green flat-topped “umbel” shaped flowers (that look similar to dill or Queen Anne’s Lace).  If you come in contact with the oils from the plant—either by touching the plant or even by touching something else, such as clothing, that touched the plant—and then your skin is exposed to sunlight, you can get a severe and blistering sunburn that is extremely painful and can leave behind scars.  If you accidently come in contact with the plant, wash thoroughly with soapy water and stay out of the sun for at least a day.  One way to control wild parsnip is to prevent it from going to seed.  This can be done by mowing the plants once it starts to flower—which is right now!  For more information about wild parsnip, see the PDF on Parsnips at the UWEX Learning Store.

Parsnip photo

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