Cow Parsnip NOT Giant Hogweed!

The Church Ranches common lands are filled with countless native plants and wildflowers. One of these is Cow Parsnip, which might be mistaken for Giant Hogweed. Both plants are members of the carrot family and are found in similar habitats and have a similar appearance. However, Cow Parsnip is native to Alberta and while its sap might cause some skin irritation to sensitive individuals, it does not have the same toxicity as Giant Hogweed. The overall size of the plants is different. As well, the leaves and stems have distinctive characteristics. A Cow Parsnip leaf look similar to a maple leaf. Its stem has deep ridges and fuzzy hairs and has very few purple marks. The Giant Hogweed leaf has "lobed leaves" with deep incisions. The stem has many purple spots and stiff bristles. To date, no Giant Hogweed has been reported in the Province of Alberta.

Cow Parsnip Plant

Cow Parsnip Leaf

Cow Parsnip Stem

For more information on the differences between Cow Parsnip and Giant Hogweed, please click here.

For information on invasive plant species in Alberta, please click here.

For the list of noxious prohibited weeds and noxious weeds in Alberta under the Weed Control Act, S.A. 2008, C. W-5.1, please click here.

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