Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Heracleum lanatum


Introductory

SPECIES: Heracleum lanatum
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Esser, Lora L. 1995. Heracleum lanatum. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [].

ABBREVIATION : HERLAN SYNONYMS : Heracleum maximum Bartr. [26,39,46,80] H. sphondylium L. var. lanatum (Michx.) Dorn [18,78] H. s. ssp. montanum (Schleich) Briq. [15,26,78] SCS PLANT CODE : HELA4 COMMON NAMES : cow parsnip common cow parsnip TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of cow parsnip is Heracleum lanatum Michx. (Apiaceae) [36,42,63,68,82]. There are no recognized infrataxa. LIFE FORM : Forb FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Heracleum lanatum
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Cow parsnip occurs from Newfoundland west to Alaska and south to California, Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri, and Georgia [22,26,30,47,68]. It is not found in northern Canada or in the extreme southern and southeastern regions of the United States. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES11 Spruce - fir FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood FRES19 Aspen - birch FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES23 Fir - spruce FRES25 Larch FRES26 Lodgepole pine FRES28 Western hardwoods FRES29 Sagebrush FRES34 Chaparral - mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon - juniper FRES36 Mountain grasslands FRES37 Mountain meadows FRES38 Plains grasslands FRES39 Prairie FRES41 Wet grasslands FRES44 Alpine STATES : AK AZ CA CO CT DE GA ID IL IN IA KS KY ME MD MA MI MN MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OR PA RI SC SD TN UT VT VA WA WV WI WY AB BC MB NB NF NS ON PE PQ SK BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 1 Northern Pacific Border 2 Cascade Mountains 3 Southern Pacific Border 4 Sierra Mountains 5 Columbia Plateau 6 Upper Basin and Range 8 Northern Rocky Mountains 9 Middle Rocky Mountains 10 Wyoming Basin 11 Southern Rocky Mountains 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont 14 Great Plains 15 Black Hills Uplift 16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K003 Silver fir - Douglas-fir forest K004 Fir - hemlock forest K008 Lodgepole pine - subalpine forest K011 Western ponderosa forest K012 Douglas-fir forest K014 Grand fir - Douglas-fir forest K015 Western spruce - fir forest K018 Pine - Douglas-fir forest K019 Arizona pine forest K021 Southwestern spruce - fir forest K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland K025 Alder - ash forest K037 Mountain-mahogany - oak scrub K038 Great Basin sagebrush K049 Tule marshes K050 Fescue - wheatgrass K051 Wheatgrass - bluegrass K052 Alpine meadows and barren K055 Sagebrush steppe K063 Foothills prairie K064 Grama - needlegrass - wheatgrass K066 Wheatgrass - needlegrass K067 Wheatgrass - bluestem - needlegrass K074 Bluestem prairie K081 Oak savanna K093 Great Lakes spruce - fir forest K098 Northern floodplain forest K107 Northern hardwoods - fir forest SAF COVER TYPES : 5 Balsam fir 12 Black spruce 13 Black spruce - tamarack 16 Aspen 18 Paper birch 38 Tamarack 63 Cottonwood 107 White spruce 203 Balsam poplar 204 Black spruce 205 Mountain hemlock 206 Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir 208 Whitebark pine 210 Interior Douglas-fir 211 White fir 212 Western larch 217 Aspen 218 Lodgepole pine 220 Rocky Mountain juniper 221 Red alder 235 Cottonwood - willow 236 Bur oak 237 Interior ponderosa pine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Cow parsnip occurs in a wide variety of forested habitat types, as well as grassland, shrubland, meadow, alpine, and riparian zones [3,13,14,34,85]. Cow parsnip is a member of the Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis) old-growth forest in Washington [2]. Cow parsnip occurs in whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) communities of Montana [3]. It is a common understory species in subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) habitat types of the Intermountain West [9,12,20,69]. A subalpine fir/cow parsnip association in Montana, and a cow parsnip-western coneflower (Rudbeckia occidentalis) community type in Wyoming are described [14,20]. A climax black hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii)-cow parsnip habitat type has been described for Washington and Idaho [13,50]. A climax quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)/cow parsnip habitat type has been described for Utah and Wyoming [57,58]. Cow parsnip is found in seral quaking aspen community types in Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and Montana [7,34,41,57,58,85], and is a dominant understory species in quaking aspen-dominated communities of Utah, Colorado, and Montana [41,64]. An quaking aspen/cow parsnip habitat type has been described for Colorado and Idaho [34,41]. In Canada, cow parsnip is a member of the subboreal, aspen-dominated spruce zone [8,11,75]. In eastern Idaho, western Wyoming, and northern Utah, cow parsnip occurs in a red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea)/cow parsnip riparian habitat type [86]. A California false hellebore (Veratrum californicum)-cow parsnip habitat type has been described in Washington [32]. Cow parsnip occurs in riparian areas dominated by willow (Salix spp.) throughout the Intermountain West [19,29,77]. The following publications list cow parsnip as a community dominant or codominant: Steppe vegetation of Washington [13] A vegetation study in the subalpine zone of the western North Cascades, Washington [20] Riparian community type classification of eastern Idaho-western Wyoming [86] Species not previously mentioned but commonly associated with cow parsnip include incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa var. hastata), narrowleaf cottonwood (P. angustifolia), thinleaf alder (Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia), Sitka alder (A. sinuata), bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum), bigleaf maple (A. macrophyllum), Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia), dwarf bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), grouse whortleberry (V. scoparium), roses (Rosa spp.), mountain snowberry (Symphoricarpos oreophilus), western snowberry (S. occidentalis), Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), bristly gooseberry (Ribes setosum), common chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), California hazel (Corylus cornuta var. californica), fowl bluegrass (Poa palustris), California brome (Bromus carinatus), blue wildrye (Elymus glaucus), field horsetail (Equisetum arvense), bluejoint reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis), fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium), western aster (Aster occidentalis), large-leaved avens (Geum macrophyllum), sweet-scented bedstraw (Galium triflorum), stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), Sitka valerian (Valeriana sitchensis), smooth woodrush (Luzuli hitchcockii), menziesia (Menziesia ferruginea), queencup beadlily (Clintonia uniflora), tall larkspur (Delphinium occidentalis), Richardson's geranium (Geranium richardsonii), saw groundsel (Senecio serra), and bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) [11,12,20,29,57,58].

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Heracleum lanatum
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Cow parsnip is a valuable forage species for livestock, deer, elk, moose, and bear [37,42,43,54]. In West Virginia cow parsnip provides forage for livestock and deer [10]. Moose in Montana and Yellowstone National Park eat cow parsnip [40,54]. In low elevation riparian areas it is an important food for grizzly bear, especially in the spring [43,52,81,88]. In Glacier National Park, cow parsnip comprised 15 percent of grizzly bear total diet volume, spring through fall, in 1967-1971 and 1982-1985 [43]. In Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, grizzly feeding sites were examined from June to early August; 77 percent of the cropped umbelliferous plants were cow parsnip (stems, petioles, and blossoms) [28]. Black bear in Alberta cow parsnip in summer [37]. PALATABILITY : Palatability ratings for cow parsnip are as follows [15]: CO MT ND UT cattle good good good good sheep good good good fair horses good good good fair NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Cow parsnip nutritional values are rated as follows [15,29]: UT CO WY MT elk good ---- poor good mule deer good ---- good good white-tailed deer good ---- good pronghorn poor ---- poor poor upland game birds fair ---- fair fair waterfowl poor ---- poor fair small nongame birds fair ---- fair poor small mammals good ---- fair poor Energy and protein content ratings of cow parsnip are poor [15]. COVER VALUE : Cow parsnip cover values are rated as follows [15]: UT CO WY MT elk poor ---- poor ---- mule deer poor ---- fair ---- white-tailed deer ---- fair ---- ---- pronghorn poor ---- poor ---- upland game birds fair ---- fair poor waterfowl poor ---- fair ---- small nongame birds good ---- good poor small mammals good ---- good poor Yellow-bellied sapsuckers in Idaho ues cow parsnip as cover [19], and Columbian sharp-tailed grouse use the black hawthorn-cow parsnip habitat type as escape cover, especially in the winter [50]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Cow parsnip is rated moderately good for erosion control, short-term revegetation potential, and long-term revegetation potential [15]. Cow parsnip has fair soil stabilization value if seeded in the fall in quaking aspen, mountain brush, and subalpine herbland communities of Intermountain rangelands [72]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Native Americans of Alaska, British Columbia, the Great Plains, and Arizona used cow parsnip for medicinal and nutritional purposes [26,39,42,48]. Native Americans in Alaska ate the inside of stems raw and boiled the roots to extract sugar [39]. In Arizona, the Apache ate the young leaves and stems and used the roots to treat epilepsy [42]. Cow parsnip is planted as an ornamental [38]. In the Great Plains cases of dermatitis have been reported in persons who came in contact with the foliage of cow parsnip [26]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : In Washington cow parsnip is sensitive to grazing and can be eliminated from steppe vegetation if overgrazed [13]. In Colorado cow parsnip decreases with grazing [41]. Cow parsnip is sensitive to soil compaction or severe soil disturbances which may be caused by mechanical scarification or trampling [9,67]. In high mountain ecosystems of Utah, cow parsnip should be broadcast or drill-seeded in the fall at 1 to 2 pounds per acre in a mixed seeding for best forage results [38]. Parsnip webworm, a European-introduced herbivorous insect, feeds on developing flowers and seeds of cow parsnip. Floral herbivory can decrease seed production by up to 40 percent and seed biomass 53 percent [5,33]. Cow parsnip appears to persist or increase after clearcutting [4,12], but to decrease after soil scarification [87].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Heracleum lanatum
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Cow parsnip is a native, perennial forb that grows from 3.3 to 10 feet (1-3 m) tall [24,26,35] and has broad, flat-topped umbels [33,80]. It grows from a stout taproot or a cluster of fibrous roots [35,39,72,82]. Leaves are 8 to 20 inches (20-50 cm) long and wide [26,59,82]. The egg-shaped fruit is 0.32 to 0.48 inch (8-12 mm) long and 0.24 to 0.36 (6-9 mm) wide [26,82]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Hemicryptophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Cow parsnip reproduces by seed [15,38]. For successful germination in the laboratory, seed should not be stored more than 3 years [72,73]. Some flowers within an umbel only produce stamens, while others are hermaphroditic. Secondary umbels develop synchronously approximately 10 to 14 days after the primary umbel. Hermaphroditic flower and seed production may be increased by herbivory [33]. The potential for cow parsnip to regenerate vegetatively is not clear; Cole and Trull [9] include cow parsnip in a group of plants that "regenerate rapidly from subsurface adventitious buds." SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Cow parsnip occurs in a variety of habitats including woodlands, forest openings, grasslands, and riparian areas such as wet meadows, stream terraces, alluvial benches, floodplains, and stream and lake margins [26,28,29,82]. It is commonly found growing in snow-maintained disclimaxes such as avalanche chutes [28,47,55]. Cow parsnip is a facultative wetland species [29]; it grows best in moist, shaded areas [35,59,84] but can also be found in open woodlands and clearings [35,38,44,56,80]. Cow parsnip grows best on moist to semiwet soils with good drainage [24,34,44,47]. It grows best on loam and sandy loam soils derived from limestone and shale, but occurs on clay, clay loam, and gravelly substrates as well [1531,65]. Elevations for cow parsnip for several states are as follows: feet meters Arizona 7,500-9,000 2,250-2,700 [42] California <8,500 <2,600 [35] Colorado 4,700-10,500 1,410-3,150 [15,30] Montana 4,200-8,500 1,260-2,550 [3,29] Utah 5,200-9,000 1,560-2,700 [15] Washington 3,300-5,775 1,000-1,750 [2,9] Wyoming 3,400-12,500 1,020-3,750 [15] SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Cow parsnip occurs in seral and climax communities. It is shade tolerant, but also grows in some open habitats [29,38,41,44,58]. Cow parsnip is a common understory species in quaking aspen community types, which are often successional in subalpine forests of the Intermountain region [4,20,29,41]. Cow parsnip is a member of the red alder (Alnus rubra) association of Oregon that may be replaced in 30 to 50 years by black cottonwood or in 30 to 70 years by grand fir (Abies grandis) [31]. The red-osier dogwood-cow parsnip community type of Utah and southeastern Idaho is an early seral type that colonizes streambanks and adjacent areas [60]. In the black hawthorn-cow parsnip habitat type of Washington, cow parsnip can grow as well with or without the black hawthorn canopy [13]. Cow parsnip occurs in climax aspen forests throughout the Intermountain West, and in mature to climax subalpine forests in Wyoming and Montana [14,41,58]. Studies of cow parsnip in clearcuts indicates that its response to canopy removal is variable. In northern Utah cow parsnip cover was variable in both control and clearcut stands. Early succession following a 1974 clearcut of aspen communities (with no slash treatment) in northern Utah was studied. Percent understory cover of cow parsnip on clearcuts and uncut controls was [4]: 1973 1975 1976 1977 cut control cut control cut control cut control 0 1.5 1.8 0 0.7 0.3 0.4 0.4 The effects of clearcutting on wildlife habitat were studied in a moist subalpine forest in central Colorado. Understory cover of cow parsnip before and after clearcutting (with no slash treatment) was [12]: before logging years after logging (1978-1982) (1976) 1 2 3 4 5 cover(%) 0.6 3.1 8.2 8.9 13.3 10.7 In the subalpine fir/queencup beadlily habitat type in northwestern Montana, cow parsnip occurs in a variety of disturbed and undisturbed communities. Relative frequency and average canopy cover of cow parsnip were as follows [87]: relative frequency % cover wildfire (35-70 years prior to study) 6 15 clearcut (15-35 years old), slash dozer-piled 4 3 clearcut (15-35 years old), slash not dozer-piled 8 15 old-growth (two types of plots) 3,20 0.5,7.8 Snowchutes are "topographic climax" or disclimax communities that produce an abundance of grizzly bear foods. In subalpine fir/menziesia, subalpine fir/queencup beadlily, and subalpine fir/smooth woodrush habitat types, relative frequency/average precent canopy cover of cow parsnip in snowchutes was 50/19, 65/13, and 75/6.2, respectively [87]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Cow parsnip flowering dates are as follows: Arizona July-Aug [42] California Apr-July [59] Colorado May-Aug [15] Georgia May-Aug [63,83] Kentucky May-Aug [63,83] North Carolina May-Aug [63,83] North Dakota Jun-Aug [15] Tennessee May-Aug [63,83] Utah Jun-Aug [15] Virginia May-Aug [63,83] West Virginia May-Aug [63,83] Wyoming Jun-July [15] Great Plains May-July [26]

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Heracleum lanatum
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Cow parsnip can occur throughout succession in moist or wet subalpine fir-Engelmann spruce habitat types in Idaho and Wyoming. These habitat types have estimated average fire-free intervals of about 330 years. Stands are susceptible to severe burns when drought occurs [91]. Cow parsnip also occurs throughout succession in communities characterized by more frequent fire, including quaking aspen [93]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Heracleum lanatum
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Cow parsnip is probably killed or top-killed by fire. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Cow parsnip may benefit from both canopy removal and increased water availability after tree cover is removed by fire. Cow parsnip had greater percent cover following both wildfire and clearcutting without scarification (some stands broadcast burned) than after clearcutting with scarification [87]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY

REFERENCES

SPECIES: Heracleum lanatum
REFERENCES : 1. Almack, Jon. 1986. Grizzly bear habitat use, food habits, and movements in the Selkirk Mountains, northern Idaho. In: Contreras, Glen P.; Evans, Keith E., compilers. Proceedings--grizzly bear habitat symposium; 1985 April 30 - May 2; Missoula, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-207. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 150-157. [10815] 2. Antos, Joseph A.; Zobel, Donald B. 1985. Plant form, developmental plasticity and survival following burial by volcanic tephra. Canadian Journal of Botany. 63: 2083-2090. [12553] 3. Arno, Stephen F.; Weaver, Tad. 1990. Whitebark pine community types and their patterns on the landscape. In: Schmidt, Wyman C.; McDonald, Kathy J., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on whitebark pine ecosystems: ecology and management of a high-mountain resource; 1989 March 29-31; Bozeman, MT. Gen Tech. Rep. INT-270. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 97-105. [11680] 4. Bartos, D. L.; Mueggler, W. F. 1982. Early succession following clearcutting of aspen communities in northern Utah. Journal of Range Management. 35(6): 764-768. [3279] 5. Berenbaum, M. R.; Zangerl, A. R. 1991. Acquisition of a native hostplant by an introduced oligophagous herbivore. Oikos. 62: 153-159. [24216] 6. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434] 7. Boggs, Keith; Hansen, Paul; Pfister, Robert; Joy, John. 1990. Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites in northwestern Montana. Missoula, MT: University of Montana, School of Forestry, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, Montana Riparian Association. 217 p. Draft Version 1. [8447] 8. Carleton, T. J.; Maycock, P. F. 1981. Understorey - canopy affinities in boreal forest vegetation. Canadian Journal of Botany. 59: 1709-1716. [14576] 9. Cole, David N.; Trull, Susan J. 1992. Quantifying vegetation response to recreational disturbance in the North Cascades, Washington. American Midland Naturalist. 66(4): 229-236. [19965] 10. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213] 11. Cragg, J. B.; Carter, Alan; Leischner, Clara; [and others]. 1977. Litter fall and chemical cycling in an aspen (Populus tremuloides) woodland ecosystem in the Canadian Rockies. Pedobiologia. 17: 428-443. [8654] 12. Crouch, Glenn L. 1985. Effects of clearcutting a subalpine forest in central Colorado on wildlife habitat. Res. Pap. RM-258. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 12 p. [8225] 13. Daubenmire, R. 1970. Steppe vegetation of Washington. Technical Bulletin 62. 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