Cow Parsnip

If it were to be growing in someone’s yard or along a fence somewhere, it might be referred to as a weed, but when we find it out in the wilds of the canyons and mountains, it is easy to see that it is anything but a weed…it is a beautiful wildflower, properly referred to as an herb.  It can reach over six feet in height and can grow in environments from sea level to around 9,000 feet in elevation.  If I tell you anything else about it, I’m sure it will sound like I’ve been reading Wikipedia…which I have….  It might not be a truly scholarly resource, but it is a readily available one…and thank you, too, Google….  🙂

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31 responses

  1. beautiful flowers..never fail to make a heart sing 🙂

    July 30, 2012 at 6:49 am

    • Thank you, Soma…do I hear a melody? 🙂

      July 30, 2012 at 6:51 am

  2. Superb images, Scott.

    July 30, 2012 at 7:50 am

  3. It is a lovely weed/herb/flower and your photos are phenomenal!

    July 30, 2012 at 8:01 am

    • Thank you, Dor…I’m glad you’ve enjoyed visiting. 🙂

      July 30, 2012 at 8:05 am

  4. You’ll want to be very careful around any plant that looks like this, because many that resemble it are toxic and some are deadly. The plant that comes closest to looking like cow parsnip is the very dangerous giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) which you can read about here if you’re interested: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/39809.html

    July 30, 2012 at 8:42 am

    • Sounds rather frightening, Allen…scarring and blindness? Wow…. I will be very cautious out there…thank you for the info.

      July 31, 2012 at 6:36 pm

  5. Nut Balls

    It’s so interesting to think about what we define as a “weed”. Even a dandelion in a yard is considered a weed, yet when littering a field is a beautiful wildflower. Interesting 🙂

    July 30, 2012 at 8:48 am

    • It is, Nathan…and it reminds me of that old addage about the eye of the beholder…probably applies here, as well…. Thank you, Sir. 🙂

      July 31, 2012 at 6:39 pm

  6. It is a beautiful flower Scott and although the scent might not make it into any perfume bottles, I love it. It reminds me of long summer evenings roaming the lanes when I was a kid. The hedgerows were always thick with it and it was in the evening that the scent was strongest. We called it cow parsley. 🙂

    July 30, 2012 at 9:15 am

    • I did notice a bit of a stronger smell with it, Chillbrook…and yes, it is quite beautiful in its mountain fields up here…I can imagine that it is in your hedgerows, as well. I like our different/similar names for the same thing. 🙂

      July 31, 2012 at 6:41 pm

  7. I think cow parsley is just beautiful. For 2 years I had one appear in my yard near the fence and it was gorgeous, but then it disappeared. Whenever I see them in bloom I have to stop to take photos – I think they just call out to me. I love your photos. They are so fresh I feel like I’m there!

    July 30, 2012 at 10:16 am

    • I agree, Terry…so beautiful. I’ve only seen it out in the canyons and mountains here in Utah, but can see that they would be pretty in our yard, as well. And it’s easy to see how they would call out to you. Thank you for your nice words…and for visiting for a while. 🙂

      July 31, 2012 at 6:43 pm

  8. Scott, they are so delicate and beautiful. they are not weeds, they are called ladies lace!
    Your pictures are superb! Thanks.

    July 30, 2012 at 11:06 am

    • Delicate and beautiful, Pattu…and you are most welcome. Thank you, my friend. 🙂

      July 31, 2012 at 6:44 pm

  9. Very pretty images of these lovely umbellifers. I especially like the first and fourth images.

    July 30, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    • Thank you, Meanderer…I’m glad you like them. 🙂

      July 31, 2012 at 6:45 pm

  10. Gorgeous photos, but they sent me off in a lengthy search to discover the difference between your cow parsnips and Queen Anne’s Lace (or wild carrot). They look quite similar. Previous comments also warn of similarities to a Poisonous Hemlock. Thank goodness for the google. 😉

    July 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    • Thank you, Gunta…I’m going to stay away from the stuff that is taller than I am, has broader leaves than my mid-section is across, and has flowers that are larger than my head…and hope that it helps me stay safe out there!

      Did you find any significant difference between this plant and Queen Anne’s Lace…or Ladies’ Lace, as Pattu mentioned above?

      And yes, thank goodness for the Google. 🙂

      July 31, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      • I’ve tried to google it, but haven’t managed to sort it out. We have two flowers here that look very similar and I’m still trying to be certain which is which. I’ll let you know if I get a handle on this.

        July 31, 2012 at 8:10 pm

        • Ok…enjoy your detective work. 🙂

          July 31, 2012 at 8:14 pm

  11. superb!

    July 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    • Thank you, Karen. 🙂

      July 31, 2012 at 7:23 pm

  12. Victoria

    Your photos are just lovely. So many so -called weeds have such lovely flowers and plant shape. I daresay the Medieval herbalists had a use for it too.

    July 31, 2012 at 12:47 am

    • Thank you, Victoria…you’re correct, too…such beautiful flowers and shapes on many “weeds.” Wikipedia mentioned that the plant was used for poultices on bruises and cuts, as well as using the dried-out stems as straws for the aged or infirm….

      July 31, 2012 at 7:25 pm

  13. You are astounding me with your photography, Scott. These are so well composed with beautiful perspective. I’m impressed!

    July 31, 2012 at 9:06 am

    • Thank you for your sweet words, George. 🙂

      July 31, 2012 at 7:28 pm

  14. Very nice shots! They are spectacular plants, aren’t they!

    July 31, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    • Thank you…and yes, quite spectacular…I’ve been noticing more and more of them and rather enjoy seeing them out there.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:01 am

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