Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a tall monocarpic (short-lived) perennial plant in the carrot family (Apiaceae), native to Europe and Asia. It has been introduced to Canada, the United States, South America and New Zealand.
It was likely brought to North America by early European settlers who grew it as a root crop. Wild populations are thought to be a result of escaped cultivated plants. By 1943 there were reports of Wild Parsnip growing wild in every Canadian province. By the 1970’s its range included the territories (with the exception of the area now known as Nunavut). Other common names include bird’s nest, common parsnip, poison parsnip, and hart’s eye.
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