Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativasimple, pinnate leaves with ovate and toothed leaflets. The small yellow flowers are borne in an umbelthat may be as much as 10 cm across. (Vaughan and Geissler 1997)
Parsnip contains furanocoumarins, which deter herbivores from eating its foliage. These compounds can also cause phytophotodermatitis in humans and livestock, a condition that results in patches of redness and blisters on the skin when they come into contact with the sap or ingest parts of the plant in the presence of sunlight. (Menemen et al. 2001)
Parsnip has been the subject of diverse studies investigating the chemical ecology and evolution of plant-herbivore interactions (Zanger et al. 2008 and references therein).
Averill and DiTommaso (2007) and Cain et al. (2010) reviewed the biology and ecology of this species.
Wild Parsnip is one of eight species and four subspecies in the genus Pastinaca, all of them native to Europe and Asia. (Menemen et al. 2001 and references therein; Averill and DiTommaso 2007 and references therein)