Wild Parsnip

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Wild Parsnip

Wild parsnip is a biennial or short-lived monocarpic perennial that is a member of the carrot/parsley family. It is native to Europe and was introduced to Canada as a root vegetable that escaped cultivation during European expansion to North America during the 17th and 18th century. It has since naturalized as a less palatable ‘‘wild’’ form. Wild parsnip roots are edible, but the sap of the plant contains toxins. The toxins within the sap are furocoumarins and can cause phytophotodermatitis.

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