Please see the Minneapolis Park & Recreation web site for complete information on the Garden including current operating hours, parking pass information, bus routes, programs offered at the Garden, plant and bird checklists. A locater map is also available on the Parks website.
More information links at page bottom
The plant lists, above, have links to an information sheet with additional photos of the plants listed.
Photo thumbnails for all seasons are found on the Photo Gallery Page. Also printable pdf versions.
Indigenous Plants 1907-16 (MPRB pdf file)
Vascular Plant Census- 2009 (MPRB pdf file)
Cow Parsnip is a native erect perennial forb growing from 3 to 8 feet high. The stout stem is ridged, hollow and usually fuzzy. Identification is by the very broad cluster (up to a foot wide) of very small white 5-parted flowers in fairly flat-topped umbels that are atop the stout stem; leaves can be 2 feet wide. The genus name, Heracleum, named after Hercules, is fitting for this plant as it is truly the robust giant of the flowered plants that form umbels. It is indigenous to the area around the Garden. Moist soil, even roadside ditches, and sunlight are its requirements. In her study of the Minnesota Chippewa, Frances Densmore lists several native uses for this plant, the most important being in the treatment of boils. Merritt Fernald reports that white settlers generally shunned the plant due to the disagreeable odor and taste of raw green stalks and shoots. However it was used by natives and when cooked (boiled) with two waterings it becomes an agreeable and delicious vegetable. The roots, when cooked, resemble and taste like Rutabaga.