Parsnips nutrition factsParsnips are closely related to carrot family of vegetables; grown for their sweet, succulent underground taproots. The root vegetable has similar appearance and growth characteristics as other Apiaceae family members like carrots, parsley, celery, cumin,dill, etc. Botanically, they belong to the Umbelliferae(Apiaceae) family of the genus: Pastinaca.
Scientific name: Pastinaca sativa.
Pastinaca sativa is a biennial cool season crop native to Mediterranean region. In the first year, it grows about 1-1.5 meter tall and bears underground taproots, which are generally harvested after the first-frost of the season. If left undisturbed, the plant develops umbrella-shaped clusters of small yellow flowers and seeds during the next season.
Its fleshy, stout roots appear like that of carrots, but are white or cream in color and sweeter than that of carrots. Good winter frost is essential for better crop, as frost converts much of the starch to sugars and helps develop long, narrow, and firm parsnips. The roots are generally harvested when they reach about six to ten inches in length, by pulling the entire plant along with its root (uprooting) as in carrots.