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« Giving Nature a Buzz Cut | Main | KITTINTUITION »

July 20, 2007


David Seward

My daughter was in the emergency room this morning after an encounter with the poison parsnip. She works for a landscaper here on Martha's Vineyard. Both her arms are a mass of blisters and burned skin. She looks like she had her arms in an oven. Her mother and I have just helped her with changing the bandages, which was an extremely painful process. This is the first time we have become aware of this dangerous weed plant. After seeing her in so much pain I can just imagine what it would be like if the poisonous juice had gotten on her face, near her eyes and mouth.
We will all be more aware in identifying this hellish plant from now on.


i've been pulling wild parnip for three years. long sleeves, longpants and leather palmed gloves are necessary. giving broken stalks a wide berth is helpful. and after three years it's well on its way to being eliminated. i call it an european visitor because it's on its way out.



Mental Wanderer

Back in 1856, the Mormon handcart pioneers were crossing the Great Plains on foot in a desperate bid to get out of the U.S. before they were exterminated entirely. They were making that trek on starvation rations. One evening, a young 19-year-old Scottish convert, traveling alone with one of the companies, discovered what he thought were parsnips. He gathered an armload and took them into his camp. Most of his companions were fellow Europeans who had just crossed to America, and no one at that particular site knew any better. So, the starving travelers boiled them down and ate them. Of course, the whole group was deathly ill by morning; it was a small miracle that only one of them died. That well-intentioned 19-year-old gatherer survived and was my great-grandfather.


I have gotten parsnip before. I HATED it!!!!! I got these GIANT blistery boil type things on my fingers and my palm. My Doctor said it was the worst case he's ever seen! I usually get it once a year. It grows on the side of the road where I live. I was with my sister and i say something that I thought was a weed so i pulled it out and the next day my hands were itching and there were tiny bubble-like blisters on my hands. I fell asleep and when I woke up, It seemed like they conjoined into one! that kept happening. The first year i got it I was about 6. it keeps continuing...

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