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Rough Chervil

Chaerophyllum temulum

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Apiaceae (Carrot)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, hedgerows, roadsides, wasteland, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Umbels, 6cm across. Usually without bracts. No sepals. The flowers are nodding while in bud.
Long, narrow, ridged fruits, wider above.
Dark green bi-pinnate or tri-pinnate leaves, sometimes tinged dark purple. Purple blotched or completely purple stems. Hairy. Biennial.
Other Names:
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


C. temulum is a species of flowering plant in the carrot family. It is native to Europe and Asia and is commonly known as rock chervil or shake-hand. It grows to a height of about 60 cm and has finely divided, fern-like leaves and small white flowers that bloom in the summer. It is often grown as an ornamental plant in gardens, but it is also used medicinally as a digestive tonic and mild laxative.


Rough Chervil, also known as Chaerophyllum temulum, is a beautiful and versatile herb that can add flavor and flair to your garden. This herb is a relative of parsley, and it has a similar taste and appearance, but with a more delicate and subtle flavor.

Rough Chervil is an annual herb that grows to be about 30 cm tall and has delicate leaves that are bright green and lacy. The leaves have a delicate, sweet, and anise-like flavor that makes it a popular ingredient in European cuisine. In France, it is often used to flavor soups, sauces, and salads. The leaves can be used fresh or dried, and they are a great addition to any dish that you would normally use parsley for.

This herb is also known for its medicinal properties. It is said to have a calming effect and to be useful for treating digestive issues, such as indigestion and gas. The leaves are also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, iron, and calcium.

Rough Chervil is easy to grow and care for. It prefers well-drained soil and a sunny to partially shaded location. It is a hardy plant and is not susceptible to many pests or diseases. This makes it a great herb to grow for beginners and seasoned gardeners alike.

To propagate Rough Chervil, simply sow seeds in the spring and water regularly. The plants will grow quickly, and you will be able to harvest the leaves within a few weeks. To harvest the leaves, simply snip them off at the base of the plant.

Rough Chervil is a great herb to add to your garden. It has a delicate flavor and appearance, and it is easy to care for. Whether you are using it in the kitchen or for its medicinal properties, this herb is sure to bring joy and flavor to your life.

In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, Rough Chervil is also a great herb for adding visual interest to your garden. Its delicate leaves and lacy appearance make it a beautiful addition to any herb garden, and it also pairs well with other herbs and flowers. The plant produces delicate white or pink flowers that bloom in the spring and summer, adding an extra pop of color to your garden.

Another benefit of Rough Chervil is its versatility. This herb can be grown in a variety of ways, including in containers, in the ground, or as part of a mixed herb garden. This makes it a great choice for those with limited garden space, as well as those who want to incorporate a variety of herbs into their gardens.

When it comes to cooking with Rough Chervil, the options are endless. This herb is a great addition to soups, sauces, and stews, and it can also be used to make herbal teas. Additionally, it is a great seasoning for roasted meats, poultry, and fish. It is also a popular ingredient in many European dishes, such as Béarnaise sauce, which is a classic French sauce made with butter, egg yolks, and herbs.

Rough Chervil is a versatile and useful herb that has many benefits. Its delicate flavor, beautiful appearance, and ease of growth make it a great choice for both seasoned gardeners and beginners. Whether you are using it in the kitchen or in the garden, Rough Chervil is sure to become a staple in your herb collection.

Rough Chervil is a great herb for companion planting. This means that it can be planted alongside other plants in your garden to enhance their growth and health. For example, Rough Chervil can be planted near tomatoes, as it is said to improve their flavor and to help repel harmful insects. Additionally, planting Rough Chervil near carrots can also help to deter carrot flies, a common pest that can damage carrot crops.

When it comes to harvesting Rough Chervil, it is important to do so regularly to keep the plant from going to seed. Harvesting the leaves regularly will also encourage new growth and keep the plant healthy. To store Rough Chervil, simply wrap the leaves in a damp paper towel and place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for several days.

In conclusion, Rough Chervil is a fantastic herb to add to your garden. Its delicate flavor, beautiful appearance, and versatility make it a great choice for all types of gardens. Whether you are using it in the kitchen or for its medicinal properties, this herb is sure to become a staple in your herb collection.


Rough Chervil filmed at Bourton-on-the-water in the Cotswolds on the 26th June 2023.


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Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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