Flora of Scotts Creek Watershed
Heracleum lanatum - Cow Parsnip
Images: View Larger Images
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.