Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?

cow parsnip

any of several tall, coarse plants of the genus Heracleum, of the parsley family, as H. sphondylium or H. lanatum, having large, flat clusters of white flowers.
1540-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for cow-parsnip

cow parsnip

any tall coarse umbelliferous plant of the genus Heracleum, such as H. sphondylium of Europe and Asia, having thick stems and flattened clusters of white or purple flowers Also called hogweed, keck
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for cow-parsnip

cow parsnip

broadly, any plant of the genus Heracleum, in the parsley family (Apiaceae). The genus comprises about 60 species, which are distributed throughout the North Temperate Zone and on tropical mountains. Cow parsnips are perennials, often several feet high, with large compound leaves and broad clusters of white or purplish flowers. H. sphondylium (eltrot, hogweed, or common cow parsnip [see ]), native to Eurasia, is now naturalized in eastern North America. H. mantegazzianum, the giant hogweed, is native to the Caucasus but is grown elsewhere as an ornamental. This striking plant can attain a height of 4 m (about 13 feet) and has a stout red-spotted stem and a white inflorescence up to 0.5 m in diameter. For species of the genus Sium, see water parsnip.

Learn more about cow parsnip with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for cow parsnip

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cow

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with cow-parsnip

Nearby words for cow-parsnip