Pastinaca (parsnips) is a genus of flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, comprising 14 species. The economically most important member of the genus is Pastinaca sativa, the parsnip.
The etymology of the generic name Pastinaca is not known with certainty. The name may be derived from the Latin word pastino (or pastinare), meaning 'to prepare the ground for planting of the vine' (or more simply, 'to dig') or the Latin word pastus, meaning 'food', liberally translated as 'Earth-food'.
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