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#3130180 - 04/21/12 11:23 AM ID help
TheAlmostIowaKid Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 16
Loc: MN
Can anybody tell me what this is, and if it edible?




Thanks
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#3135193 - 04/25/12 09:20 AM Re: ID help [Re: TheAlmostIowaKid]
peacekeeper Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/30/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Washington State
It looks like Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa).
http://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/wild-parsnip
You can be sure of the identification after the yellow flowers appear. The roots are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked like carrots. They are best if you collect them from first-year plants in fall, winter, or early spring. The roots of the second-year plants (the ones with flowers) are too tough. Be careful when collecting them. Contact with the leaves in combination with exposure to sunlight can cause a nasty rash that lasts for months.

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#3140249 - 04/29/12 09:23 AM Re: ID help [Re: TheAlmostIowaKid]
waggler Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/11/08
Posts: 112
Loc: Alaska and Washington State
There is an entire group of plants that look similar to this including extremely poisonous water hemlock.
My brother and his wife ended up in the hospital years ago after eating the roots. If I remember right, they thought they were eating Queen Ann's Lace. They came near to death.
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#3140568 - 04/29/12 02:50 PM Re: ID help [Re: TheAlmostIowaKid]
peacekeeper Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/30/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Washington State
waggler is right. Several members of the carrot family are deadly poisonous, including water hemlock, poison hemlock, and fool's parsley, all of which have white flowers. I would never recommend eating wild carrots, or Queen Anne's Lace, unless you were to spend a lot of time studying plants. Another plant to avoid is water-parsnip (Sium sauve), which is perfectly edible, but looks too much like water hemlock. It only takes a mouthful of water hemlock to kill, so it's nothing to mess with.

Fortunately, wild parsnip (which TheAlmostIowaKid has in his photos) is pretty easy to distinguish from any poisonous plants. When it blooms it will have yellow flowers. Study the plant so you will be able to identifying it later without flowers, then come back in fall, winter, or early spring to dig the parsnips. The only inedible yellow-flowered plant that might be confused with wild parsnip is tansy, but tansy has rayless daisy like flowers, and does not have carrot-like roots.

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#3148422 - 05/05/12 08:36 AM Re: ID help [Re: TheAlmostIowaKid]
TheAlmostIowaKid Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 16
Loc: MN
Thanks.
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