Written by Maddie Caruso, ESLLC 2015-2016
Wild parsnip is an invasive species that is sweeping across the northern United States. The wild parsnip is also known as Pastinaca sativa and is native to Eurasia. This plant can be extremely detrimental to the natural environment as well as to the people that live in the area.
The wild parsnip is able to grow in a variety of different environments, which means that it is able to easily spread to many locations across the U.S. This plant can be detrimental to surrounding areas, because it is very tenacious. It often invades areas that are struggling and overthrows the native plants that are trying to live there. It can also invade healthy sections of fields and grasslands, destroying ecosystems and habitats as it grows.
This particular invasive species is of particular interest to humans because it can cause serious damage to the human skin. When the plant touches the skin, it deposits a residue that when exposed to the sun, will blister. This can range from moderate to severe and there is no specific cure. Incidents of blistering injuries have multiplied recently because of the spread of the wild parsnip.
Keep your eyes peeled for that nasty Wild Parsnip, and get out your hefty gardening gloves! The only way to stop the spread is persistence in the removal of this invader.