Sicily. The root is black, sweet scented and is used as angelica by the Sicilians.
Heracleum flavescens Baumg. Yellow Cow Parsnip.
This plant is used as a food and, in Kamchatka, a spirit called raka is prepared from it.
Heracleum lanatum Michx. American Cow Parsnip.
Subarctic America. The roots and young stems are eaten by some of the tribes along the Pacific and it is also used by the Crees of the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains as a potherb.
Heracleum pubescens Bieb. Downy Cow Parsnip.
The young shoots are filled with a sweet, aromatic juice and are eaten raw by the natives of the Caucasus, where it is native. In France, it is grown in the flower garden.
In Prussia, this plant is sown in April and the next year yields an immense amount of foliage to be used as fodder. It is more especially grown for ewes than for any other kind of stock. In 1854, seed from Germany was distributed from the United States Patent Office. Captain Cook says this plant was formerly a principal ingredient in the cookery of most of the Kamchatka dishes but since the Russians got possession of the country it has been almost entirely appropriated to the purpose of distillation.
Europe, northern Asia and western North America. The people of Ploonia and Lithuania says Gerarde, "use to make drinks with the decoction of this herb and leven or some other thing made of meale, which is used instead of beere and other ordinaire drinks." The young succulent stems, after being stripped of their envelope, are occasionally eaten as a salad in the outer Hebrides. These stalks are much used, says Johnson, in some parts of Asiatic Russia. In Russia and Siberia, the leaf-stalks are dried in the sun and tied up in close bundles, until they acquire a yellow color, when a sweet substance resembling sugar forms upon them, which is eaten as a great delicacy. In Lithuania and Siberia, a spirit is distilled from the stalks, either alone or mixed with bilberries; fermented, they forma kind of beer. The young shoots and leaves may be boiled and eaten as a green vegetable and, when just sprouting from the ground, resemble asparagus in flavor.
Heracleum tuberosum Molina.
Chile. The bulbs are frequently six inches long and three broad; the color is yellow; the taste is pleasant. The plant grows naturally in sandy places near hedges and produces abundantly.
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.