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Polytaenia nuttallii - DC.

Common Name Nuttall's prairie parsley
Family Polytaenia
USDA hardiness 4-6
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats Prairies, plains, savannas, open woods
Range Native to the central and midwestern United States.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Polytaenia nuttallii Nuttall

Dan Busemeyer - www.fs.fed.us
Polytaenia nuttallii Nuttall
Joshua Mayer wikimedia.org


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Polytaenia nuttallii is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 5.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


No synonyms are recorded for this name.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Foragers report seeds are an acceptable substitute for dill in flavor, the leaves can be boiled, and the tap root, supposedly in desperate times, could be boiled or grilled, but has poor favor. Given the similarity in appearance with many other plants, native and non, we would not suggest eating any part of Prairie Parsley [1-5].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Used in habitat restoration projects in prairies and it may be planted as an ornamental. Tiny flowers attract small bees, miscellaneous flies, and occasional wasps. Prairie Parsley is one of the species in the Carrot family that the oligolectic bee, Andrena ziziae, visits for pollen and nectar. The caterpillars of a butterfly, Papilio polyxenes asterius (Black Swallowtail), feed on the foliage of this plant. Cattle and other mammalian herbivores browse readily on the non-toxic foliage [1-6].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A biennial or short-lived perennial. Easily mistaken for Wild Parsnip, an invasive non-native weed, however, this species has been in decline at least in the periphery of its range due to the destruction of native prairie for agricultural and commercial development. Prairie Parsley leaf looks like flat leaf or Italian parsley and is finely divided while Wild Parsnip leaf is not. Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade. Soil Moisture: Medium-Wet, Medium, Medium-Dry, Dry. Bloom Color: Yellow. Bloom Time: Jun , Jul. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed. Cold moist stratification used to simulate the real-world conditions a seed would receive outdoors after the frozen winter gives way to a warm, wet spring. Plant outdoors in the fall [1-5].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Prairie Parsley, Nuttall's prairie parsley,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Not Listed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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