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Bur Chervil

Anthriscus caucalis

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Apiaceae (Carrot)
Life Cycle:
Annual or Biennial
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Beaches, fields, grassland, hedgerows, meadows, riversides, roadsides, seaside, walls, wasteland, waterside.

White, 5 petals
5 white notched petals. The flowers are loosely clustered inside umbels.
Egg-shaped, beaked seedpods, warty on this inside. Covered in short, hooked spines. About 3mm long.
An annual plant with fern-like or feathery leaves. 2 or 3-pinnate. Hairless, hollow stems. Similar looking to Garden Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium).
Other Names:
Bur-chervil, Burr Chervil, Small Cow Parsley.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


A. caucalis, also known as bur chervil or small cow parsley, is a species of flowering plant in the carrot family. It is native to Europe and Asia and is commonly found in moist, grassy areas such as meadows, pastures, and along the banks of streams and rivers. It grows to a height of about 60 cm and has finely divided, fern-like leaves and small white flowers that bloom in the spring and summer. It is often grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and is also used medicinally as a diuretic and to treat respiratory and digestive disorders.


Bur Chervil: A Delicious and Nutritious Herb

Bur chervil, also known as Anthriscus caucalis, is a perennial herb that belongs to the parsley family. It is native to Europe and has been used as a culinary herb for centuries. The herb is particularly popular in French cuisine and is used to flavor soups, sauces, and stews.

In addition to its delicious taste, bur chervil is also a nutritious herb. It is a good source of vitamins C, A, and K, as well as minerals such as potassium, calcium, and iron. The herb also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that are beneficial for overall health.

The leaves of bur chervil are feathery and resemble those of parsley. They are delicate and tender, with a mild, slightly sweet flavor that is similar to that of anise. The leaves can be used fresh or dried and are often added to dishes towards the end of cooking to preserve their flavor.

Bur chervil is a hardy plant that grows best in moist, well-drained soils in full sun or partial shade. It is a low-maintenance herb that is easy to grow and can be propagated by seed or by dividing the roots. The plant can reach a height of up to 2 feet and produces small, white flowers in the spring and summer.

Bur chervil is a delicious and nutritious herb that is easy to grow and versatile in the kitchen. Whether you use it to add flavor to your favorite dishes or to benefit from its nutritional value, bur chervil is a must-have herb for any herb garden.

In the culinary world, bur chervil is often compared to parsley, but with a more delicate flavor. It can be used to add a subtle sweetness to soups, sauces, stews, and salads. The herb also pairs well with fish, chicken, and vegetables, making it a versatile ingredient in the kitchen.

One of the most interesting things about bur chervil is that it has a short growing season and is best harvested before the flowers begin to bloom. This means that it is a seasonal herb that is typically available from spring to early summer. It is recommended to harvest the leaves early in the morning when the flavor and nutritional value is at its peak.

In terms of storage, fresh bur chervil can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week, wrapped in a damp paper towel. Dried bur chervil can be stored in an airtight container for up to a year. It is important to note that dried bur chervil has a milder flavor than fresh, so it may not be as strong in recipes.

In traditional medicine, bur chervil has been used to treat a variety of health conditions, including digestive problems, headaches, and skin conditions. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, making it a popular ingredient in herbal remedies.

Bur chervil is a delicious and nutritious herb that is versatile in the kitchen and has a range of health benefits.

Aside from its culinary and medicinal uses, bur chervil is also a great herb for landscaping and ornamental purposes. The plant has a delicate, lacy appearance and its small white flowers are attractive to pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Bur chervil is a great herb to grow in herb gardens, mixed borders, and containers.

Bur chervil is also a great herb for companion planting. When planted alongside vegetables and other herbs, it can help to deter pests and improve the overall health of the garden. Additionally, bur chervil is also said to improve the flavor of other herbs when planted alongside them.

In terms of cooking with bur chervil, it is important to note that the flavor of the herb is delicate and can easily be overpowered by other ingredients. It is best used in small amounts and added towards the end of cooking. A little goes a long way with bur chervil, and it is often used sparingly as a garnish or a final touch to dishes.

Overall, bur chervil is a herb that is definitely worth exploring. Whether you are a seasoned cook or just starting out, this herb is a great addition to any kitchen. With its delicate flavor and numerous health benefits, bur chervil is sure to become a staple in your cooking repertoire.


Bur Chervil filmed in Formby, Lancashire on the 8th May 2023.


Music credits
The Master by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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