'Cow Parsnip'(hair-uh-KLEE-um: MAKS-ih-mum) Apiaceae:
A large North American native species that can grow 8 feet tall. Plants have large umbels of white flowers; the leaves are large and divided into lobes. The stems are stout and plants are upright growing and succulent-like. Gloves should be worn when handling this plant since some people are very sensitive to the chemicals produced by this plant. When the chemicals come in contact with the skin in the presences of sunlight, they cause burning and blistering of the skin. Heracleum maximum has a deep tap root, so should be planted were they are to remain. Some self seeding were happy. Best when grown in part shade. Cow Parsnip is often a biennial or monocarpic, growing vegetatively during the first year and completing its life cycle the second year.