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Flora of Scotts Creek Watershed

Full Growth Grouping Leaves Leaf Upper Stem Flower Head

Heracleum lanatum - Cow Parsnip

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Family Name: Apiaceae

Common Name: Cow Parsnip

Origin: Native to California

Locations found in Swanton Area: Pictures taken along trail parallel to, and between, Scotts Creek and Swanton Road

Habitat: Moist shaded places such as stream banks, below 2600 m.

Life Form and Duration: Perennial Herb, 1-3 m

Comments on overall growth: Single stemmed, branched, sturdy, hollow stem, strongly scented, overall tomentose.

Foliage Description: Leaves 20-50 cm long, once compound with 3 leaflets. Petiole 10-40 cm long, widely sheathing at base, enlarged, upper petioles inflated and bladeless. Leaflets broad, 10-40 cm long and wide, palmately lobed maple-like, coarsely toothed, lower side wooly.

Infloresence Description: Numerous tiny white flowers in loose compound umbels, clusters of smaller clusters. Terminal umbel largest at 10-20 cm wide, there are also several smaller axillary umbels. Inflorescences hairy. Involucre bracts deciduous. Flowers lacking sepals, white petals obovate.

Flowering Season: April-July

Fruit Description: Flattened, thin-winged, obovate, more or less hairy. 7-12 mm by 5-9 mm.