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Parsnips are a large root vegetable which somewhat resemble white carrots and can be used in similar ways. Just like the wild parsnip, cultivated plants attract a range of pollinators and are host plants for several moths and butterflies, including swallowtails. Handling the plants should be done with care, as they can cause severe skin irritation- gloves and long sleeves are recommended while harvesting.

Latin Name

Pastinaca sativa



Type of Plant

Annuals Annuals
Vegetables Vegetables


Fall Fall
Spring Spring
Winter Winter


Max height Max Height: 4'
Max spread Max Spread: 3'


  • Vegetable
  • Edible

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Sun Full Sun
    Part Shade Part Shade


    Skin irritant Skin irritant


    Native Range



    Washington had his enslaved workers plant parsnips with carrots as a field crop to produce livestock feed, as well as in the gardens to use for human consumption.

    Other Details

    Grown by Washington Grown by Washington

    Planted at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon Fruit Garden & Nursery Lower Garden Pioneer Farm

  • Fruit Garden & Nursery
  • Lower Garden
  • Pioneer Farm

  • Hardiness Zones

    USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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