Wild Parsnip

 

What is it?

Wild Parsnip is an invasive plant that is increasingly common within the City of Ottawa in areas of uncultivated land, roadside ditches, nature trails, as well as on and surrounding rural and residential properties.

 

Risks:

Wild Parsnip may pose a health risk to humans. The plant sap contains chemicals that may cause skin and eye irritation and make the skin prone to burning and blistering when exposed to the sun. The blisters typically occur one to two days after contact with the plant. This can result in long-term scarring of the skin.

 

Identification:

Early Growth:

early growth

In the first year of growth, low-growing non-flowering rosettes of leaves form with a cluster of spindly, compound leaves that resemble celery leaves.

 

In Bloom:

In Bloom

When Wild Parsnip is in bloom usually in the second and third year plants have tall, branched yellow flowering stalks that usually bloom in early June to late July.

 

Mature Plant:

Mature Plant

Starting in August ‎the blooming plant will begin to turn brown and the leaves and stems will begin to dry up. This means that the toxic sap from the plant will also begin to dry up, and contact with the plant is less likely to cause a reaction. Once the plant is completely dry the seeds will fall to the ground.

Seeds are flat and round. It is a biennial plant, reproducing only by seed. The seeds can lie dormant for years making it even more challenging to control.

 

How to Avoid:

  •  It is recommended that the public stay on the groomed areas of parks, roadsides and pathways where there are less instances of wild parsnip.
  •  When working around Wild Parsnip or when walking through dense vegetation, wear goggles, gloves, long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Thoroughly wash boots and  gloves with soap and water before taking off your protective clothing.
  •  Children should be reminded not to pick wild flowers. Ensure children are able to identify Wild Parsnip in order to avoid exposure.

 

If Exposed to Plant:

If you are exposed to the plant sap, wash the contaminated area(s) thoroughly as soon as possible, and seek medical attention if skin irritation occurs.

 

2016 Wild Parsnip Strategy – Kanata South

The City of Ottawa will be spraying Clearview herbicide along our roadsides and park starting May 2016 at the following locations:

Kristina Kiss Park

Kristina Kiss Park

 

Walter Baker Park

Walter Baker Park

 

Pathways Behind the Real Canadian Superstore

Behind Superstore

 

Signs will be posted 48 hours prior to the City spraying these areas.

 

For more information on reporting it on City property and ways to remove it on your own property, go to:

www.ottawa.ca/wildparsnip or call 3-1-1