Sunday, March 26, 2023

Hairyjoint Meadow Parsnip - Thaspium barbinode - Update

Hairyjoint meadow parsnip (Thaspium barbinode) is a rare-in-Florida member of the carrot family, vouchered only from Jackson County in the north-central Panhandle with several other possible records elsewhere from Walton and Duval counties - all in extreme north Florida.  It is common to our north, however, and is recorded throughout most of the eastern half of the U.S.  Throughout its range, it is found in moist forested areas, and along streams and ponds and occasionally prairies in full sun to partial shade although shade may impact its growth and number of blooms. It is a perennial that dies back to the ground in winter and reemerges in spring.  

This is a robust wildflower that will eventually reach a mature height of 4-6 feet.  The stems and stem branches have noticeably stiff hairs which give it its common name, but these are not easily seen unless looked at close-up. Like many other members of the carrot family (Apiaceae), it has compound leaves.  They alternate along the stem, but are most abundant near the base,  Each is toothed, 1-2 inches across and up to 1 inch wide.  Leaves ascending the main stem become smaller, and all are minutely "hairy" - especially along the veins and edges.

Flowering occurs in spring.  The umbels of bright yellow flowers in clusters of 10-20 flowers each, are 1-2 inches wide. The tiny individual flowers are all stalked and comprised of five petals that fold inwards. Pollinated flowers form brown oblong seeds by late summer that often remain attached to the stems even as the stems die and fall to the ground.  These can be collected and sown.

I have not cultivated this species previously,  The above photos were taken of plants I purchased from a native plant nursery north of Florida.  It is reported that hairyjoint meadow parsnip is tolerant of a wide variety of soils and growing conditions though it prefers moist (not wet) soil and at least half-day sun.  As a member of the Apiaceae, it is a host for the eastern black swallowtail.  It also attracts a variety of pollinators to its flowers.

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