Identify pesky plants

Pesky Plant Trackers badge, plants and text

Identifying wild parsnip and Japanese knotweed are skills that are covered in the online course. The course prepares you to participate in Pesky Plant Trackers as a citizen scientist.

Below are additional resources for identifying parsnip and Japanese knotweed.

Wild parsnip

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Wild parsnip identification

Wild parsnip look-alikes

Prepare to distinguish wild parsnip from similar plants, such as:

  • Golden alexanders is a native plant that is commonly confused with wild parsnip. Learn to tell them apart by studying photos and descriptions on page 62 of the MnDOT Noxious Weed Book.
  • Water hemlock is a native plant that can be confused with wild parsnip. Learn to tell them apart by studying photos and descriptions on page 72 of the MnDOT Noxious Weed Book.
  • Poison hemlock is an invasive plant that can be confused with wild parsnip. It is on the prohibited eradicate list in Minnesota. Learn to tell these plants apart by studying photos and descriptions on page 17 of the MnDOT Noxious Weed Book.

Japanese knotweed

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Japanese knotweed identification

Japanese knotweed look-alikes

Prepare to distinguish Japanese knotweed from similar plants, such as:

  • Giant knotweed plants are much taller than Japanese knotweed and have significantly larger, thinner leaves with heart-shaped bases.
  • Bohemian knotweed is a hybrid between Japanese knotweed and giant knotweed. It is generally taller and has larger leaves with more heart-shaped bases.
  • Dwarf Japanese knotweed is shorter in height (up to 3 feet) and has smaller, rounder, thicker leaves.

Japanese knotweed look-alikes

Knotweed leaf comparison
Knotweed leaf comparison - Japanese and hybrid
Knotweed flower contrast
Knotweed flower structure comparison
Knotweed flowering stem comparison