In 2012, the Fleischmann’s parsnip bloomed once again at the Ljubljana Castle after 172 years. Namely, the plant could not be found at the Ljubljana Castle after 1840.
The common parsnip is one of the most frequently found meadow plants, blooming at the time of rowen on meadows and along paths. The Fleischmann’s parsnip, however, is a special plant that differs from the common parsnip for its double feathery leaves, the shape and serration of leaves and, partially, also by the colour of leaves, which is a somewhat darker green than that of the common parsnip. Other than its habitat at the Ljubljana Castle, where the plant grew from 1819 to around 1835, no other habitat was found for the plant. There is no uniform opinion about its emergence. Some claim that the plant emerged as a hereditary change (a mutation) at the Ljubljana Botanical Gardens (Mayer, 1960), while others believe that it in fact grew at the Ljubljana Castle (Voss, 1885).
The fact is that parsnip, as a vegetable, started to be grown in Middle Ages and was used for a long time, until it was superseded by carrots and potatoes. In addition to having a high content of water, the taproot of this annual also contains sugars, proteins, pectin and even a bit of fatty and essential oil. The British still cherish it. So, it is possible that the mentioned parsnip is a variety of the common parsnip, which was once grown. Irrespective of this, however, many are still bewildered by the fact that the variety was only preserved at the Ljubljana Castle and, later on, at the Botanical Gardens. This by no means diminishes its value, since many new varieties were obtained by making a selection of special features in an attempt to grow something new. Either of the mentioned claims is possible, since neither changes the fact that the plant was only preserved at the Ljubljana Botanical Gardens.
On the Trail of Fleischmann’s Parsnip is the name we have given to a nature trail on which we organise guided tours in cooperation with the Botanical Garden of the University of Ljubljana.