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Cow Parsley

Anthriscus sylvestris

Plant Data

Order:
Apiales
Family:
Apiaceae (Carrot)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
White umbels without lower bracts, up to 6cm.
Fruit:
Hairless, elliptical, smooth and shiny, dark brown but turning black with maturity.
Leaves:
Divided leaves and feathery, fern-like.
Maximum Size:
100cm tall.
Foraging Notes:
Cow Parsley looks very similar to many other common British wild flowers which are poisonous. Cow Parsley has an unpleasant but similar taste to Chervil and is sometimes called 'Wild Chervil'. It's taste however has a hint of Carrot in it too. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, and the roots can be cooked and eaten.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Aroma:
The leaves smell strongly of aniseed when crushed.
Other Names:
Adder's Meat, Badman's Oatmeal, Blackman's Tobacco, Devil's Meat, Fairy Lace, Grandpa's Pepper, Hedge Parsley, Keck, Kecksie, Kex, Kill-your-mother-quick, Lady's Lace, Mother-die, Queen Anne's Lace, Queque, Rabbit Meal, Spanish Lace, Step-mother, Wild Beaked Parsley, Wild Chervil.
Habitats:
Hedgerows, meadows, riverbanks, roadsides, woodland.