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fruits and vegetables week Pastinake: 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)

Pastinaca (parsnips) is a genus of flowering plant in the Apiaceae, comprising 14 species. The economically most important member of the genus is Pastinaca sativa.   

– can someone please post compratives of parsnip and hrseradish/daikon????

– Although the two look similar, daikon Radish is a member of Brassicaceae where as parsnip is a member of Apiaceae Parnips are much paler and dull in colour, daikons shining white Parsnips are sweeter in taste, whereas daikons have a sharper taste.

Perhaps better photographs of Daikon radish. Attachments (2)



Pastinaca sativa from Kashmir for validation-GSDEC2016/12 : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (4)

Pastinaca sativa, parsnip plant for validation
Photographed from Kashmir University Botanical Garden,
July 11, 2013.
If confirmed it should be first representation in our database. 

Cultivated parsnips are one of my favourite vegetables.  Stewart does not list this plant in his ‘Annotated Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Pakistan & Kashmir’ (even under its synonym Peucedanum sativum).  According to ‘Flora of British Isles’ Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a native scattered throughout England & locally abundant at roadsides and grassy waste places but I don’t recollect coming across it.  A Checklist of the plants of Buckinghamshire (the county I live in according to old boundaries) says it is uncommon at roadsides & old grassland on calcareous soils (which we do not have locally). 
Interestingly, in ‘Flora of Berkshire’ (2005) the county my home is now in, local government-wise, says there has been a major increase in abundance following the construction of motorways, though still absent over a considerable part of the county.  Based on ‘Flora of Buckinghamshire’ (1926) it is not found where I live.
In Scotland and Ireland it is only found as an escape from cultivation.  It occurs in Europe except in the extreme north and Portugal, eastwards to the Caucasus and Altai, so not a native to the Himalaya. So Stewart appears to have been correct, though would have expected him to list it, if commonly cultivated.  Introduced in N&S America, Australia and New Zealand.
Parsnip is not listed in A PROFILE of The Kashmir University Botanical Garden (2007), so perhaps a new addition or overlooked?
So is it Pastinaca sativaApiaceae as the family is now know (previously Umbelliferae) is not an easy family identification-wise.  Sometimes MATURE fruits are required to confirm an identification.
I have a copy of the Botanical Society of British Isles Handbook No. 2 on ‘Umbellifers of the British Isles’.  Published back in 1980 it is somewhat out-of-date.  Not all the line drawings show good detail.  However, it is worth quoting the author’s (Tutin) observation about the difficulty in describing shape, dissection, margin, apex, venation, texture etc. in a clear and unambiguous way. “The eye can learn to appreciate and recognize the sum total of these characters while the pen remains baffled; Smell even less describable, is also often diagnostic”.
I would have been able to recognise a strong smell of parsnip but I am not aware of how much this root vegetable is used in Indian cooking?  Two subspecies are recognised in Britain sativa (probably an escape from cultivation in most, not all locations) and sylvestris.  I have also come across subsp. hortensis.
In general appearance is does appear close to Parsnip. The fruits are not mature/ ripe so cannot match them with certainty.  Cannot, at present think what is else it could be and … may well know the familiar smell of Parsnips.
As I have posted previously, wouldn’t it be great if we could dispense with complicated floras and keys, close our eyes and IDENTIFY PLANTS BY SMELL ALONE! Though there would still, no doubt be disagreements and misidentifications dependent upon experience, skill and sensory powers.
I am partially red-green colour-blind and often struggle describing subtle colours, whilst my Britisher travelling companion in Kashmir in 1985 had no sense of smell……

Yes it is Pastinaca sativa, grown in Unani Section of KUBG. I have got it verified.

New for our database.



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