U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8b. Sunset climate zone 5

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cow Parsnip

Looking at these statuesque herbaceous perennials with large compound flower heads, I understand why they were given this name.

Latin name of this plant, Heracleum, comes from the name of the Greek god, Heracles (Roman god Hercules), who was considered a mortal of great size and strength. The Creek gathered young cow-parsnip stalks and roasted them on hot coals, later eating the pith. Young roots were also cooked as a vegetable, like parsnips. Medicinally, pastes of dried, grated roots were applied to swollen legs to relieve swelling and were used on aching limbs and heads to relieve pain.
They say Cow Parsnip good in herbaceous border or a wild garden. But any gardener should know that it spreads badly and needs to be watched closely.

It likes moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun to light dappled shade. Some parts may cause discomfort if ingested. Contact with the sap may cause photodermatitis.
I like the picture below. I took it last summer, on our way to Homer. We stopped to look at several Russian churches. Actually, another name for Cow Parsnip in Alaska is Pushki that means fluffy in Russian.

Click on the picture please. Can the sky be actually SO blue? I wouldn't believe...but it's my own picture.

***Copyright 2009 TatyanaS


  1. Beautiful, the cow Parsnip looks great. Wordpress is not difficult at all, you might want to see if the name of your blog is available on wordpress first before deciding to change over. I like the 2 different blogs that I have, maybe you should just have a second blog..

  2. Cow Parsnip is a common sight along the river by me. I love how it stands tall above everything else. The leaves are impressive too.

  3. Hi Tatyana

    I know what you mean about blogger. I'm having similiar thoughts myself. Truth is, I guess you can play around with the html, but I'd be a little fearful.

    Great pics all the same. Isn't Alaska beautiful


  4. Hi Tatyana Thanks I have learnt something I first thought you meant Cow Parsley which grows in our woods but then realised that your plant was bigger and bolder I wonder if it is what we call Giant Hogweed although I think the stems of that are caustic so perhaps not the same as Cow Parsnip.

  5. Cathy, thanks! I like Blogger, but pictures look so much better when they are bigger. I'm just afraid to lose something during a transfer to Wordpress.

    Hello WiseAcre!I agree, it's a very impressive plant, especially grown in masses. Maybe you could post a picture of Cow Parsnip growing in your area.

    Rob, thank you! Alaska IS beautiful. We go there this summer, again.

    Joanne, thank you! You are absolutely right - Giant hogweed may be easily confused with the native cow parsnip.

  6. I love herbs, and have them throughout my garden. Amazing what they can do. I love the photo of the house and sky. I'd sure frame that one. As for Blogger versus Wordpress. I've been on Typepad and Wordpress. And now have added a blog on Blogger. It isn't that hard to switch, but you don't seem to have as many opportunities with images with Wordpress. That and not much you can do with a header than I can manage. Other than those things, I love it. But I'm trying out Blogger with my new decorating/craft blog I've added to the mix!

  7. A common road side plant here - but impressive all the same. I love that Alaskan sky.

  8. I love giant plants in huge spaces.

  9. Nice photos. I love big fields of poppies.
    The transfer to wordpress is supposed to be pretty smooth, they have a built in process, though I haven't done it. They say to save backups of your files first. I really like wordpress, though I'm using .org instead of .com, because we already had a server. Html is pretty easy to learn to customize your site.

  10. I love Cow Parsley ~ it is common here. My parents have quite a bit around their cottage. Good choice of article! It comes from the university I attended.

    Your photos are beautiful. (I chose Typepad because I can choose the size of photo I want to add to a blog post. It costs though, but I love the features. It wasn't hard to switch from Blogger.)

  11. СветаApril 21, 2009

    Представляешь: Гераклейский полуостров - хора Херсонеса. Практически любой античный город нельзя представить без сельскохозяйственной округи - хоры.
    Я, конечно, прошу прощенья и боюсь, что это мне одной интересно и важно! Но название этого цветка на Аляске вдруг всколыхнуло что-то в моей погасшей душе...

  12. Таня, наконец-то я нашла твой садовый блог :) я куда-то ссылку подевала, а в твоем посте уже не нашла, ну а теперь - ура! Таня, ну надо же - век живи - век учись, это я про мощное растение, о котором ты рассказала. Знаешь, у нас его называют Борщевиком, и он для нас теперь просто бич Божий :( я его боюсь, честно говоря; года два назад моему папе, когда он срубал цветоносы на этом гиганте сок брызнул на руку, так у него был ожог, который не заживал около месяца! А цветоносы убирал, потому что это растение расспространяется по подмосковью со старшной силой, какими-то неостановимыми темпами. теперь он почти на каждой обочине, в каждой низинке, и если этим летом выросло одно растение, значит следующим будет десяток, а потом их будет лес. Лес метра 4 высотой, сами измеряли! вообщем, у нас с ним нешуточная борьба идет, и кто кого пока не понятно :(

  13. Cow Parsnip is about the worst weed you can imagine... IT takes over and crowds out just about anything... beware beware beware... you WILL be sorry if it gets into your landscape over time... Ninilchik Alaska here where the roadsides in our area pretty much only this ugly plant ...

  14. Thank you Toes192!I put a warning sentence in the post for gardeners.Right now, I am in Alaska again and looking forward to visit Ninilchik.

  15. Dug up the root of a big Pushki... [cow Parsnip] ... About the size of a football... Far as I can tell, NOTHING can compete with this weed... Exteeemly powerful... 139.7 Sterling... We cut down to the ground this year... Maybe a shot of Roundup or just get them early next year... We opine maybe the wet weather this year on the Kenai encouraged them to fully emerge in force... Fireweed and all other wild growth 50-60% gone on our section of the highway...


Thank you for stopping by and for your comment! I appreciate your time! See you soon on your blog!

Blog Archive

Search This Blog

Follow by Email

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...



Abyssinian Banana Actaea s. Agapanthus Agressive plants Alaska Amaryllis Amur Maple Aquilegia Aralia Arizona Arundel Castle Gardens Autumn Bainbridge Island Gardens Before and After Berry Bird Houses Bloedel Reserve Blotanical Blue Poppy Book review Botanical Gardens Bouquets Butchart Gardens California Calla Canada Chanticleer Garden Clematis Coleus Colonial Gardens Conifers Containers Corydalis Dahlia Dan Klennert Desert Landscape DIG Dogs Dry creek bed Duris Cucumber Farm Elandan Gardens End of Month View England English Gardens Euphorbia Eze France Exotic garden Fall garden Far Reaches Farm Favorite plants Favorite plants. Tree Philodendron Fences Foliage Formal gardens Foxglove France Frankfurt Botanical Garden Front Garden Fuchsia Garden decor Garden elements Garden works Gardening Tips Gardens of nature Gardens to see Gardens to see (tours) Geraniums Germany GH Garden Tour Giveaway Giverny Gossler Farms Nursery Grasses Great Dixter Greenhouse gunnera Hampton Court Hawaii Garden Hellebores Herbs and Vegetables Heronswood Hidcote History of gardening Holidays Hops Hosta Hydrangea Illumination Italy Japanese maple Kew Lakewold Gardens Lavatera Lavender Leucosceptrum stellipilum ‘Ogon' Little and Lewis Garden Lobelia tupa Meconopsis Melianthus major Minter Gardens Missouri Botanical Garden Mount Vernon My Garden My Open Garden MY PICTURE OF THE DAY Neighborhood NPA Open Gardens NWFGS Old Goat Farm Orchids Oregon PalmenGarten Pampas grass Peony Perennials Plant ID Poppy Problem areas Recipes Rhododendron Rock garden Romneya c. Russia and Russian Art Sarah P. Duke Gardens Serre de la Madone (Lawrence Johnston) Shade Garden Shayne Chandler Garden Shrubs Sissinghurst Sky Watch Slope garden Slugs Spring/Summer garden Stachys Succulents Summer/Fall garden Texas Arboretum The Garden of Great Depression Tree Peony Trees Trips Tulip Festival Uncategorized Vegetable garden Vegetables Villa Cimbrone WA Weigela Wells Medina Nursery White garden Wild animals Wild flowers Windcliff Wineries Winter and winter garden Wordless Wednesday Yang's Garden and Nursery
Copyright 2009-2020 TatyanaS, MySecretGarden Blog