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Cow Parsnip
Heracleum maximum (Heracleum lanatum)





credit: Danielle Langlois/CCSA


Very tall perennial herb with very large leaves and white flat-topped or rounded flower clusters where each stalk rises up from almost the same point or umbels like in geraniums, milkweed and onions. Stems are stout, hairy, grooved and succulent. Flowers: Always white flower clusters characteristic of the carrot family (Apiaceae) anywhere from 8-12"(20-30 cm) across; 5 petals per flower with ones at cluster edges larger, sometimes tinged purple. Leaves: Anywhere from 6-16" (15-40 cm) across, round, divided into 3 lobes, each 3-6" (7.5-15 cm) wide, with jagged, saw-toothed edges. Fruit: Flat, oval and broader above the middle. Height: 4-10'(1.2-3 m).

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