Native Americans found many use for Cow Parsley, including peeling and eating the stalks and young leaves, earning it the name of "Indian Celery" or "Indian Rhubarb. They often dried the stalks and used them for drinking straws or for making flutes for children. A mosquito and fly repellent was made from an infusion of the flowers rubbed on the body, and the roots were used to produce a yellow dye. As it turns out, the flower heads also produce a lovely yellow dye.
My husband and I stopped along this roadside and clipped just the flower tops from enough plants to fill this basket, which in turn, almost filled my dye pot.After filling the pot with water and simmering for a couple of hours the liquid was a pale yellow, and I wasn't sure there would be much color for the yarn to take up.
Two 2-ounce skeins of yarn, one mordanted with alum, the other with copper, simmered for an hour or so and yielded these lovely shades of yellow, and golden-yellow.