With a toddler running around, I am of course concerned about it being water hemlock (this isn't a marshy spot, but we have a very high water table, so I'm not going assume anything). But the leaves, especially the lower leaves, seem too wide for hemlock, and the stems are green throughout, not purple. I also thought cow parsnip, but it's not nearly big enough, and the leaves don't seem right for that, either. I found Honewort in my Peterson's guide, and for a minute I thought that was it, but the flowers don't seem right - honewort looks to have a sparser flower pattern. Flowers not the right color for wild parsnip...I'm at a loss. Anyone?
Umbelliferae can be one of the most trickly families to correctly identify its often very similar looking species. And some of them are extremely poisonous and deadly, and they are so difficult to distinguish from their edible cousins.
in Portugal, sheltered terraces facing eastwards, high water table, uphill original forest of pines, oaks and chestnuts. 2000m2
in Iceland: converted flat lawn, compacted poor soil, cold, windy, humid climate, cold, short summer. 50m2
Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
posted 6 years ago
No worries, I'm not planning on eating it...we have lots of wild edibles that I do recognize, I don't need to try something I'm unsure of. But after looking around at lots of pictures on the web and in my field guides, I'm pretty sure it is goutweed. So, a bit invasive, but not something I need to spend a lot of time trying to eradicate...
The only umbelliferae I feel pretty confident identifying in the wild are Queen Anne's Lace (the hairy stems distinguish it from poison hemlock, plus that yummy carrot smell!), and yarrow, which to me, after years of working with it, just seems like such a distinctive plant.