The lesser water parsnip is a perennial aquatic plant which grows in shallow, clear flowing water at the margins of ditches, ponds, lakes and rivers.
How to identify
It grows to heights of between 30cm and 1m and has umbelliferous white flower heads, of 30-60mm on stalks opposite the leaves, and grooved hollow stems. The leaves can be up to 30cm long and are a dull bluish green. There are pinnate segments of between 2cm and 5cm which vary in number between 5 to 19 pairs per leaf. These leaflets have toothed edges. A characteristic feature is a pale ring at the base of the leaf stalk.
Where to find it
Wet ditches, still water or marshy ground.
When to find it
How can people help
The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.