cow parsnip

noun

Definition of cow parsnip

: a tall biennial or perennial herb (genus Heracleum and especially H. sphondylium of Eurasia and H. maximum synonym H. lanatum of North America) of the carrot family that has a hollow stem, thick taproot, and large clusters of usually white-flowered umbels — see also giant cow parsnip

Examples of cow parsnip in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web White flower clusters bloom from mid-May through July and can easily be confused with native cow parsnip. oregonlive.com, "Toxic giant hogweed sap that burns, blisters skin found in Clark County," 13 July 2019 Two other similar looking species include the very benign native plant cow parsnip, which only grows to about 6 feet, and Angelica, which has compound leaves and smooth stems. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The 411 on Giant Hogweed, the Invasive Plant That Can Cause Severe Burns," 21 June 2018 The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services confirmed on Tuesday that giant hogweed, a toxic weed that can grow up to 15 feet tall and resembles the less dangerous cow parsnip, was identified at a private home in Clarke County. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "A Giant Plant That Can Cause Blindness Was Spotted for the First Time in a New State," 20 June 2018 But the cow parsnip also causes ill effects, including a blistering skin rash. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Huge, toxic weed found for first time in Virginia, experts say," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cow parsnip.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cow parsnip

1548, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of cow parsnip was in 1548

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Cite this Entry

“Cow parsnip.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cow%20parsnip. Accessed 26 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on cow parsnip

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cow parsnip

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