A message from the President of the Gloucester Allotment Garden Association:
There have recently been a number of reported issues regarding the invasive weed known commonly as "Wild Parsnip". This weed is to be avoided and not handled without physical protection because the sap from this plant can cause contact dermatitis. Basically, the sap of this plant has chemical compounds in it which affect the skin at the point of contact. The affected area, when exposed to the UV rays in sunlight will blister, usually within 48 hrs.
Unfortunately, at this time of year the City of Ottawa is not doing anything to remove this noxious weed. If anybody detects this weed near their plot please mark the area (perhaps with a stake) so that the City can attack these areas in the Spring. Please also note that this weed is generally not detected in well tilled land, which is another reason to keep weeds under control.
Please find below links to a number of sites which further expand upon this particular weed and it's effects:
Wild Parsnip | Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program
Wild Parsnip | City of Ottawa
The link below will take you to an excellent site "New York Invasive Species Info - Wild Parsnip"