Wild Parsnip - Pastinaca sativa


    An erect, medium to tall, strong smelling, hairy plant. Stem angled or ridged. Leaves pinnate, with 5 to 11 oval, lobed and toothed segments. Flowers yellow 1.5 mm in umbels with 9 to 20 unequal rays.

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Yellow flowers; hairy; leaves 1-pinnate; fruits flattened, rounded, with low ridges

    Recording advice

    Photo of the plant in its habitat


    Rough grassy places, usually on dry calcareous soils.

    When to see it

    Late June to August.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Occasional but widespread in central and southern England, local and often coastal elsewhere.

    VC55 Status

    Mainly found in the north east of Leicestershire and parts of Rutland, just a few records from railway verges elsewhere in VC55. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 61 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Native, calcareous soils, locally frequent

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map