Hairy-Jointed Meadow Parsnip
This plant is a member of the carrot (Apiaceae) family, and while generally overlooked, is worth keeping around the garden. The carrot family contains an interesting mix of plants. On one hand, there are amazing edible plants: carrots, parsley, parsnip, coriander, celery, fennel, and dill. But on the other hand, many poisonous plants run in the family: poison hemlock, water hemlock, fool’s parsley, etc…
The most famous death attributed to hemlock is the death of the philosopher Socrates, who was accused of corrupting the minds of the youth.
Worry not, Hairy-jointed meadow parsnip is not toxic in the slightest. It is a short-lived, fast-growing, perennial that blooms in spring and is usually gone by summer. Since it is a fast-growing plant, it is a great pollinator plant in the springtime, when many other plants are just getting started.
Plant your parsnip in early spring or the fall before. It thrives in full sun or part shade and needs watering every few days until it becomes established. As a springtime plant in Ohio, there is generally enough water naturally that it is self-sufficient.