Parsnip River

Feature Type:River - Watercourse of variable size, which has tributaries and flows into a body of water or a larger watercourse.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Flows NW into Parsnip Reach, S end Williston Lake, Cariboo Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 55°10'22''N, 123°04'13''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 93O/3
Related Maps: 93I/5
93O/3

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 22 October 1945 on 94SE, as labelled on BC map 1H, 1917, and as identified in the 1930 BC Gazetteer. Coordinates of mouth adjusted 3 June 1974 on 93O/3, because of flooding of Williston Lake.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"The name of the river comes from the abundance of cow-parsnip (Heracleum lanatum) growing on its banks." (Prof. Macoun, quoted in the report of N.B. Gauvreau, CE, 1891)

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

R.M. Patterson mentions the "almost tropical growth of the giant cow parsnip from which the river gets is name." He found this growing up to 7-feet high and says "the din of the rain on the huge leaves was like the rush of a tremendous wind." (Finlay's River, p.38). This plant is sometimes called "Indian Rhubarb" since the Indians eat the petioles or leaf-stalks.

Source: Akrigg, Helen B. and Akrigg, G.P.V; 1001 British Columbia Place Names; Discovery Press, Vancouver 1969, 1970, 1973.