Wild parsnip most prevalent roadside invasive plant in Randall, Town Board told

This portion of a Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium map of Randall shows the location of the greatest concentration    of wild parsnip.

This portion of a Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium map of Randall shows the location of the greatest concentration of wild parsnip.

A representative of a group that is surveying invasive plant species growing in road right of ways in eight Wisconsin counties told the Randall Town Board Thursday night that wild parsnip is the most prevalent of four target species in the town.

The largest concentrations of wild parsnip were found along roads in the extreme southeastern part of the town, said Alex Rothstein, South Eastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium representative.

Wild parsnip. /Photo by Magnus Manske Creative Commons-Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Wild parsnip. /Photo by Magnus Manske Creative Commons-Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

SEWISC has had groups of volunteers surveying roadsides in the area. The grant funded SEWISC “provides the opportunity for partners to share and leverage limited resources, raise awareness about invasive species problems, and provide a mechanism for collaborative problem-solving on both public and private land,” according to its website.

Wild parsnip has a distinctive yellow flower. It has a potentially nasty side effect as well. From the SEWISC website:

Wild parsnip can cause phytophotodermatitis to the skin. If the plant juices come in contact with skin in the presence of sunlight, a rash and/or blistering can occur, as well as skin discoloration that may last several months.”

Legislation is developing at the state level to better allow municipalities to control invasive plant species, Rothstein said. Wild parsnip doesn’t require herbicide application to be controlled.

In the future, SEWISC may offer some help to municipalities in eliminating invasive plants, Rothstein said.

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