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)
- Averill, K.M. and A. DiTommaso. 2007. Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa): A Troublesome Species of Increasing Concern. Weed Technology 21(1): 279-287.
- Cain, N., S.J. Darbyshire, A. Francis, R.E. Nurse, and M.-J. Simard. 2010. The Biology of Canadian weeds. 144. Pastinaca sativa L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 90: 217-240.
- Gleason, H. A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, 2nd edition. The New York Botanical Garden, New York.
- Vaughan, J.G. and C.A. Geissler. 1997. The New Oxford Book of Food Plants (revised and updated edition). Oxford University Press, New York.
- Zangerl, A.R., M.C. Stanley, and M.R. Berenbaum. 2008. Selection for chemical trait remixing in an invasive weed after reassociation with a coevolved specialist. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) 105(12): 4547-4552.