Parsnip / Panais / Παστινάκη


Common Name: Parsnip / Panais / Παστινάκη

Scientific Name: Pastinaca sativa


Plant’s cycle: biennial

Light Requirement: full sun and semi-shade

Soil type: deep, light to medium-textured soil with good drainage. In clay soils germination and root growth are poor.

Sowing in nursery: -

Direct Planting: from late winter to late spring

Germination: 20 days after sowing at 19–24°C

Harvest: 80 days for leaves - 150 days for root. Requires two seasons to produce seeds

Spacing: 15cm/30cm/1cm deep  


Flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

Pollination: cross-pollinated by insects

Plant is self-fertile

Seed preservation: 2 years


Edible Parts: Leaves, Root, Seed

Medicine: The root contains xanthotoxin, which is used in the treatment of psoriasis and vitiligo. A poultice of the roots has been applied to inflammations and sores.

Other Uses: Insecticide;  Repellent.

Roughly chop the leaves and roots, put them in a basin with enough water to cover, leave them overnight then strain and use as an insecticide against aphids and red spider mite.

Known Hazards: Skin contact with the sap can cause photosensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people.