Wild Parsnips?

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Until very recently I had never heard of wild parsnips , let alone aware that this weed has a sap that can burn skin and cause a painful rash.
Wild parsnip is a native plant from the same family as the Giant Hogweed but is more common than the Giant Hogweed. Parents are being asked to warn their children of the risks.

Avoiding wild parsnip burns:

  • Become familiar with the wild parsnip plant and know it by sight
  • Teach children to recognise it
  • Teach children at an early age of the potential danger of poisonous plants
  • Discourage children from picking wild flowers.
  • When working around wild parsnip wear protective clothing


It is difficult to get rid of the weed, which is often rampant around the country "like nettles and brambles".

As well as parks, wild parsnip — from which modern cultivated parsnips are derived — can often be found in roadside ditches, around sports fields and along railway tracks.This plant is also often seen growing near safety barriers on our roads.

Often the plant can be confused with Ragwort which is getting increasingly common around our area but is a much brighter yellow plant with more daisy like flowers

It comes into season towards the end of June and grows until September.

The plants have chemicals called furocoumarins that can cause skin inflammation.

The chemicals are absorbed by the skin and stimulated by ultraviolet light on sunny and cloudy days, destroying cells and skin.

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