|Flower and leaf|
Heracleum persicum, commonly known as Persian hogweed or simply hogweed, is a polycarpic perennial herbaceous flowering plant in the carrot family Apiaceae, originally native to the region of Iran (Persia). It grows wild in humid mountainous regions in Iran, as well in some adjacent areas. As a spice, its common name in English is 'angelica,' although it is not related to the genus Angelica. Having been introduced in the 1830's, it has spread across Scandinavia. It is now very common in northern Norway, where it is known as the Tromsø palm. The plant has also been spotted in Sweden. In Finland, it has been declared as invasive species.
The seeds are used as a spice in Persian cooking. The very thin, small seed pods are aromatic and slightly bitter. They are usually sold in powdered form and are often erroneously sold as "angelica seeds". The powder is sprinkled over broad beans, lentils and other legumes, and potatoes. Golpar is also used in soups and stews. It is often used sprinkled over pomegranate arils. Golpar is also mixed with vinegar into which broad beans are dipped before eating.
The tender leaves and leaf stalks can also be pickled (known as golpar torshi).
Public health and safety
The sap of the Tromsø palm contains furanocoumarins, which in combination with ultraviolet light, leads to phytophotodermatitis. There is some anecdotal evidence that H. persicum may be less dangerous than H. mantegazzianum with respect to phototoxicity.
Known ways to fight Tromsø palm are the constant cutting of new shoots. When cutting down, protective equipment is recommended, and metal cutting tools should be cleaned after use because the juice is oxidizing.
- Heracleum, the genus
- Other tall invasive Heracleum species: Heracleum mantegazzianum and Heracleum sosnowskyi
- Non-invasive Heracleum species: Heracleum sphondylium and Heracleum maximum
- Species that can be mistaken for Heracleum persicum: wild parsnip, garden angelica, wild angelica
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- Analysis of the Oil of Heracleum persicum L. (seeds and stems)
- Heracleum persicum, Heracleum glabrescens (in Persian)
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