Wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris) is not very conspicuous at first, but when it gets established it forms a solid mass of white-flowering fern-like plants that is hard to miss.Wild chervil is mostly found on roadsides and disturbed areas, but it is also a successful invader of fields, pastures and forest edges.Dense patches of chervil can shade out lower growing vegetation and can expose sloped soils to erosion.Wild chervil acts as a host for viral diseases that infect other plants in the same family, including carrots, parsnips, and celery.Also, although wild chervil is not toxic to livestock, it can cause problems for hay growers because it takes a very long time to dry after being cut.According to the NOBANIS factsheet, wild chervil has been used for the prevention and treatment of various diseases and as an analgesic, and contains chemical compounds which have been reported to have anti-tumor and anti-viral activities against human cancer cells.Also, wild chervil seeds can germinate right through grass and other vegetation, allowing this plant to invade established grasslands.Most of the chervil sites in King County occur in mixed pasture/forest lands where tilling alone is not possible due to terrain and access with equipment.Imazapyr has provided excellent control of the wild chervil, due the ability to translocate into the deep taproots.This study showed that a combination of herbicide treatment, disc tilling, and re-seeding grass works well to control chervil.For more information about wild chervil in King County, Washington, please contact our office to ask one of our noxious weed specialists for assistance and be sure to report any sightings. .
Foraging for wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris)
Learn how to confidently find and identify wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris) Apiaceae family.In this article (soon to be part of an online course on plant families) you can lean how to positively identify, then confidently and safely go foraging for wild chervil.As all us foragers know, identifying certain plants can be confusing enough without having numerous lookalike relatives to discombobulate you!This website is designed to give you the tools to help identify all of our edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants, and not just the easy and obvious ones.I reckon that a good ten or more of them, can at first glance, or from peripheral vision, look like wild chervil.Saying all that, and even after reading this guide, if you happen to misidentify something nasty and come a cropper…well my disclaimer reminds you that I am exempt from any responsibility regarding your thoughts and deeds!We know that a great deal of information can be harvested from investigating the etymology of plant names.The generic part of the name Anthriscus can be traced back to the Greek word for the plant – Anthriskos (also Anthrikon).Some reports suggest a connection with the Greek noun – ‘ather’, which means ‘awn or beard of ear of grain’.The Romans knew the plant as Anthryscum, which has developed into the ‘new’ Latinised word ‘Anthriscus‘.This plant is also well-known as ‘cow parsley’, and I have often seen confusing references to the name ‘Queen Anne’s lace’ being attributed to it.More importantly, wild chervil needs comparing to Conium maculatum, a.k.a the deadly poisonous hemlock!By comparison, hemlock doesn’t have hairs, produces an almost cylindrical-shaped leaf stalk, and is typically found with a lot of red-purple spotting on it.If you are as silly as I was once, and accidentally nibble a hemlock leaf from a cocky peripheral vision I/D, you will immediately notice the extreme bitterness, and then the pain from microscopic skin-piercing calcium oxalate crystals.After a few times foraging for wild chervil, and in a big enough stand of it, you will occasionally see the odd specimen exhibiting pure red to purple coloured leaf-stalks, just to make you double take.Hence the 8 or 9 inch high common hogweed plant I saw on a footpath by a busy road near Oxford a few years back.Here it was no more than 9 inches high, with a single stem and a flower head almost its typical size.Plant chemistry: There are negligable amounts of the phototoxic compound furucoumarin (also known as furanocoumarin) in wild chervil.These molecules are well-known for being present in potentially dangerous concentrations in a number of carrot family plants.Because understanding these molecules are paramount to foraging safety, furucoumarins are central to an upcoming springtime essay on the actual real and present dangers from foraging for chervil, hogeeed, parsnip, and other common carrot family plants.These compounds are only reactive under sunshine, or more correctly, ultra violet light, when they are in contact with your skin.This can lead to various states of dermatological dis-ease, from a mild tingly sensation and redness, to 3rd degree burns (from plants with much higher concentrations).With wild chervil, I feel it safe to say that for the overwhelming majority of people, this plant presents no danger whatsoever.Someone with an existing allergy against celery may possibly have a reaction when handling a peeled wild chervil flowering stem.Harvesting: Picking the leaves can be done pretty much all year, although August to April in Southern England is the peak time for me.Other notes: Aside from the negligible furucoumarin content, wild chervil does not have any other striking medicinal constituents or actions.This is not surprising, becuase in this plant family it is predominatly the essential oils that impart the medicinal actions. .
Cow parsley – identification, edibility, distribution, comparison with
Its not clear if this has arisen from misidentification, or just regional differences, but certainly demonstrates the usefulness of binomial names for precise discussion of wild species.It is a member of the carrot family, many of which share similar umbeliferous white inflorescences and several times pinnate leaves.Extremely common Season – basal leaves best Jan – May, Shoots April – May (they have quite a short window of succulence).basal leaves best Jan – May, Shoots April – May (they have quite a short window of succulence) Habitat – roadside verges, wood edges, river banks, wild meadows.The young basal leaves taste, as you might expect, like a strong version of parsley, and can be used in similar ways.I suggest that, unless you are a botanist, you initially ignore both leaf and flower structure when trying to distinguish cow parsley from poison hemlock.For me, the real delight of cow parsley comes over a short 2 to 3 week window (around the second half of April in SW Scotland) when the young flowering stems rapidly push their way up from the basal leaves.They are a really great vegetable in the kitchen too – steamed, stir-fried, added to salads or as a delightfully crisp crudite…maybe for dipping in wild garlic pesto..? .
It was formerly called myrhis due to its volatile oil with an aroma similar to the resinous substance of myrrh.The name chervil is from Anglo-Norman, from Latin chaerephylla or choerephyllum, ultimately from Ancient Greek χαιρέφυλλον (chairephyllon), meaning "leaves of joy".A member of the Apiaceae, chervil is native to the Caucasus but was spread by the Romans through most of Europe, where it is now naturalised.Such escape can be recognized, however, as garden chervil is distinguished from all other Anthriscus species growing in North America (i.e., A. caucalis and A.
sylvestris) by its having lanceolate-linear bracteoles and a fruit with a relatively long beak.Chervil is used, particularly in France, to season poultry, seafood, young spring vegetables (such as carrots), soups, and sauces.More delicate than parsley, it has a faint taste of liquorice or aniseed. Unlike the more pungent, robust herbs such as thyme and rosemary, which can take prolonged cooking, the fines herbes are added at the last minute, to salads, omelettes, and soups.Essential oil obtained via water distillation of wild Turkish Anthriscus cerefolium was analyzed by gas chromatography - mass spectrometry identifying 4 compounds: methyl chavicol (83.10%), 1-allyl-2,4-dimethoxybenzene (15.15%), undecane (1.75%) and β-pinene (<0.01%).It was claimed to be useful as a digestive aid, for lowering high blood pressure, and, infused with vinegar, for curing hiccups.Chervil has also been implicated in "strimmer dermatitis", another name for phytophotodermatitis, due to spray from weed trimmers and similar forms of contact.Transplanting chervil can be difficult, due to the long taproot. It prefers a cool and moist location; otherwise, it rapidly goes to seed (also known as bolting). It is usually grown as a cool-season crop, like lettuce, and should be planted in early spring and late fall or in a winter greenhouse.Regular harvesting of leaves also helps to prevent bolting. .
Cow Parsley, Wild Chervil, Anthriscus sylvestris
We don’t use Wild Chervil as its taste doesn’t warrant the risk of confusing it with other deadly members of its family. .
When treating, wear appropriate clothing to prevent resinous substances from contacting skin.Anthriscus sylvestris is a herbaceous biennial that grows up to 3.25 feet in height.The umbels of this plant are large, having 6-15 rays that can reach up to 1.5 inches in length.Distinguished from similar plants by stems that are ribbed or furrowed, entirely green, hairy on the lower portion and smooth on the upper portions and with a fringe of hairs at the stem nodes. .
Chervil: A Kitchen Gardener's Guide To This Fine French Herb
Chervil is an annual culinary herb with a subtle flavor reminiscent of parsley and tarragon.While it can be nearly impossible to buy fresh chervil in stores, it is a simple herb to grow at home.Chervil is a culinary herb related to parsley – sometimes referred to as “gourmet parsley.” While more neglected in the Anglo-American kitchen, chervil has long been an important part of French cuisine: along with parsley, chives, and tarragon, it is classed as one of the “fines herbes” of traditional French cooking.It’s a bit like a milder version of parsley coupled with a distinctive flavour of either anise or liquorice, depending on who you ask.Chervil and the Fines Herbes blend are most commonly used to flavour mild protein dishes like fish, chicken, and eggs.Chervil is best with mild dishes because it is itself delicate; you wouldn’t want to mix it with strong-tasting foods because that would mask its own, unique taste.“Given its early growth, chervil is a natural with chives and dill to season spring dishes; try the three in cottage cheese or dips.Since chervil is uncommon in Anglophone countries, you’ll probably have to grow it yourself – it’s not stocked in most stores.But once established, this pretty annual sows its hardy seeds and reappears gratis every season.” Herbs: The Complete Gardener’s Guide, by Patrick Lima.Chervil seeds can be hard to find at local garden centers, so check online and, if no nearby stores supply them, you can get them easily via mail-order.Well, before anything else, you should know that chervil doesn’t transplant well, so save time and effort by putting the seeds directly in the soil of their permanent location.Mine tend to take about 7 days to germinate when the potting soil is kept moist (not dry, not muddy – as above).Unlike Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary or basil, chervil’s soil needs to be kept consistently moist – therefore, be sure to water frequently.Each individual plant has a short lifespan of less than one year, but an outdoor patch of chervil will often re-seed itself and re-appear fresh each spring.Harvest your herbs just before flowering, when the leaves contain the highest amounts of concentrated oils.Mix the chopped herbs into water, olive oil, or melted butter.Mix and freeze in a liquid medium to make fines herbes freezer cubes. .