Cow Parsnip

Scientific name: Heracleum maximum
Abundance: rare
What: young leaves, stem, roots, seeds
How: leaves-raw/cooked; stem and roots-peel then boil; seeds-dry then add to soups and stews
Where: shade, borders, woods, marsh
When: spring, summer, fall
Nutritional Value: sugars/calories in stem and roots
Dangers: WARNING: Similar-looking to deadly, foul-smelling hemlock! Also, juice and hairs of cow parsnip can irritate skin and contains suspected cancer-causing chemicals.

Cow parsnip plant (almost seven feet tall).
CowParsnip1

Closeup of flowers.
CowParsnipFlowers

Another view of flowers.
CowParsnipFlowers2

Leaves of cow parsnips are huge, well over twelve inches across.
CowparsnipLeaf

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.
CowParsnipMap_NA

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