Thaspium trifoliatum

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: purple meadow parsnip 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Apiaceae
Native Range: Central and eastern North America
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to June
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Thaspium trifoliatum, commonly called meadow parsnip, is a branched, generally upright perennial growing 12-30” tall on ridged stems. Plants are native to eastern North America from Minnesota to New York south to Texas and Florida with concentrations found in the Mississippi River valley. In Missouri, it is typically found on prairies, rocky open woods, thickets and along streams (Steyermark). Small yellow flowers in compound umbels bloom from mid to late spring. Winged fruits appear in mid to late summer. Plant is very similar to Zizia aptera, except the middle flower in each umbel is stalked and fruits are winged not ribbed. Heart-shaped basal leaves are usually undivided, and stem leaves are trifoliate and toothed with ovate leaflets to 2” long.

Specific epithet means with three leaves or leaflets.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Perhaps best sited in woodland or native plant gardens. This plant is infrequently sold in commerce.