Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Cowparsnip (Heracleum lanatum)
- Family: Carrot (Apiaceae)
- Flowering: May-July.
- Field Marks: This species is distinguished from all
other white-flowered members of the family by its stout growth
form and its huge, hairy, palmately lobed leaves. The seeds are
marked with 4 vertical purple lines.
- Habitat: Along streams, lowland woods.
- Habit: Coarse biennial herb with a taproot.
- Stems: Erect, branched, rough-hairy, hollow, up to 8
- Leaves: Pinnately divided or palmately cleft,
alternate, ovate, rough-hairy, coarsely toothed, up to 1 1/2 feet
long, with a broad wing at the base of the leaf stalk.
- Flowers: Many borne in large, many-rayed umbels; each
umbel subtended by very narrow bracts up to 1 inch long; some of
the flowers with stamens only.
- Sepals: 5, green, minute.
- Petals: 5, white, free from each other, not all the
same size, up to 1/3 inch long.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Flat, obovate, smooth or nearly so, with 4
conspicuous vertical purple lines.
Previous Species -- Purple-headed Sneezeweed (Helenium flexosum)
Return to Species List -- Group 8
Next Species -- Halberd-leaved Rosemallow (Hibiscus laevis)