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Mar 27, 2010 04:35 PM

Are parsnip tops/greens edible?

I planted parsnips last fall (live in Phoenix so our growing season is somewhat reversed) and just pulled 3 out of the garden for my pot of beans. The tops are bushy and lush. Are they edible?I'm finding conflicting answers on a Google search. Some sites say "no way" and that they are toxic. Some sites say all parts of the parsnip plant are edible, but no further info is given. Does anyone know for sure? If so, has anyone had success cooking them?

Also, what about carrot tops?


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  1. Carrot tops definitely edible. The ultrafresh organic ones from my csa taste like parsley on steroids. I've been making a winter pesto with them and also used in gumbo z'herbes.

    Dunno about parsnips.

    1. Carrot tops are edible, for sure. I wouldn't touch parsnip tops with a barge pole. I've never seen parsnips (or rhubarb) sold with their leaves attached, and that's because they will make you sick if ingested..

      1. Yes. Rumors that they are not probably originate in a confusion with a similar looking wild plant that is. Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

        parsnip greens look and taste like parsley

        1. Well I just juiced enough Parsnip green for about 10 Oz of juice. Added an apple for sweetness. The taste is a bit sharp. Just finished it and I am still alive. An hour has passed and I am still alive!

          1 Reply
          1. re: ofmay

            We ate some parsnip greens last night and now wonder what is in store for us. When we havested them we thought they were salad greens.

          2. I just harvested a bunch of wild parsnip greens and I LOVE the taste of them. It is sassy, but very yummy. Parsnips evidently contain a compound that might make you sensitive to UV-rays after eating them, which is a warning I have found on several plants, so I would not worry much. As with any plants, wild or cultivated, eat limited amounts on your first try as all plants have defensive mechanisms that can provide allergic reactions. That includes the plants we buy at the store as well. I have been munching these guys since I picked them, because they are so good. Which makes me not worry so much about the warnings.