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Anthriscus sylvestris

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Title: Anthriscus sylvestris  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Queen Anne's lace, Flora of Yemen, Anthriscus, Protomyces macrosporus, Apiaceae
Collection: Angiosperms of Metropolitan France, Apiaceae, Edible Apiaceae, Flora of Algeria, Flora of China, Flora of Denmark, Flora of Estonia, Flora of Ethiopia, Flora of Europe, Flora of Georgia (Country), Flora of Germany, Flora of Greece, Flora of India, Flora of Iran, Flora of Iraq, Flora of Ireland, Flora of Italy, Flora of Japan, Flora of Kenya, Flora of Korea, Flora of Latvia, Flora of Lithuania, Flora of Mongolia, Flora of Morocco, Flora of North Africa, Flora of Norway, Flora of Portugal, Flora of Romania, Flora of Russia, Flora of South Africa, Flora of Spain, Flora of Tanzania, Flora of the Mediterranean, Flora of the United Kingdom, Flora of Turkey, Flora of Uganda, Flora of Western Asia, Flora of Yemen, Herbs, Invasive Plant Species, Plants Described in 1753
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Anthriscus sylvestris

Anthriscus sylvestris
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Anthriscus
Species: A. sylvestris
Binomial name
Anthriscus sylvestris

Anthriscus sylvestris, known as cow parsley,[1] wild chervil,[1] wild beaked parsley, keck,[1] or Queen Anne's lace (UK),[2] is a herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial plant in the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae),[3] genus Anthriscus. It is also sometimes called mother-die (especially in the UK), a name that is also applied to the common hawthorn. It 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.


  • Description 1
  • Uses 2
  • Gallery 3
  • References 4


The hollow stem grows to a height of 60–170 cm (24–67 in), branching to umbels of small white flowers. Flowering time is mid spring to early summer.

The tripinnate leaves are 15–30 cm (5.9–11.8 in) long and have a triangular form. The leaflets are ovate and subdivided.

Cow parsley grows in sunny to semi-shaded locations in meadows and at the edges of hedgerows and woodland. It is a particularly common sight by the roadside. It is sufficiently common and fast-growing to be considered a nuisance weed in gardens. Cow parsley's ability to grow rapidly through rhizomes and to produce large quantities of seeds in a single growing season has made it an invasive species in many areas of the United States. (Vermont has listed cow parsley on its "Watch List" of invasive species, while Massachusetts and Washington have banned the sale of the plant.)


Cow parsley can be mistaken for several similar-looking poisonous plants, among them poison hemlock and fool's parsley.

Cow parsley is considered to be edible, though having a somewhat unpleasant flavour, sharper than garden chervil, with a hint of carrot, to which it is related.

Cow parsley is rumoured to be a natural mosquito repellent when applied directly to the skin. However, it 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.

It is a Class B Noxious Weed in the State of Washington since 1989.[4]



  1. ^ a b c "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". 
  2. ^ Mabberley, D.J. (2008). The plant book: A portable dictionary of the vascular plants. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ; some other Apiaceae are also known as Queen Anne's lace.
  3. ^ Webb, D.A., Parnell, J. and Doogue, D. 1996. An Irish Flora. Dundalgan Press Ltd, Dundalk. ISBN 0-85221-131-7
  4. ^ name="Wild chervil"
  • Natural History Museum
  • Plants For A Future

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