- any of several tall, coarse plants of the genus Heracleum, of the parsley family, as H. sphondylium or H. lanatum, having large, flat clusters of white flowers.
Origin of cow parsnip
First recorded in 1540–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cow parsnip
You made up your mind he was a lily of the valley and it was no good his being a cow-parsnip.
It feeds, in the autumn, on flowers and seeds of angelica and cow-parsnip, but the former is its chief food.The Moths of the British Isles, Second Series
You made up your mind he was a lily of the valley, and it was no good his being a cow-parsnip.
- any tall coarse umbelliferous plant of the genus Heracleum, such as H. sphondylium of Europe and Asia, having thick stems and flattened clusters of white or purple flowersAlso called: hogweed, keck
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012