Herbs & Plants

Anthriscus sylvestris

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Botanical Name : Anthriscus sylvestris
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Anthriscus
Species: A. sylvestris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Names : Cow Parsley, Wild Chervil, Wild Beaked Parsley, Keck, or Queen Anne’s lace

Habitat :Anthriscus sylvestris is native to Europe, western Asia and northwestern Africa; in the south of its range in the Mediterranean region, it is limited to higher altitudes. It is related to other diverse members of Apiaceae such as parsley, carrot, hemlock and hogweed.A very common plant of roadsides, hedges etc.

Anthriscus sylvestris is a herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial plant.The hollow stem grows to a height of between 60–170 cm, branching to umbels of small white flowers. It is in flower from April to June,The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile. and the seeds ripen from June to July.The tripinnate leaves are 15–30 cm long and have a triangular form. The leaflets are ovate and subdivided.


It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. .
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Succeeds in most soils. Shade tolerant. The root has been recommended for improvement by selection and breeding as an edible crop. This plant looks quite similar to some poisonous species, make sure that you identify it correctly.

Seed – sow as soon as ripe (June/July) in situ. The seed can also be sown April/May in situ. It usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 20°c.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.

The leaves are eaten raw, cooked as a potherb or used as a flavouring. They taste somewhat less than wonderful. Root – cooked.

Medicinal Uses:

The root is soaked for several days in rice washings and then cooked with other foods as a tonic for general weakness.

Other Uses:

A beautiful green dye is obtained from the leaves and stem but it is not very permanent.

Cow Parsley is rumoured to be a natural mosquito repellent when applied directly to the skin. However cow parsley can be confused with giant cow parsley/giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), the sap of which can cause severe burns after coming in contact with the skin.

Known Hazards:  This plant is suspected of being poisonous to mammals. It also looks very similar to some very poisonous species so great care must be taken when identifying it

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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