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Fool's Parsley
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Aethusa
Species: A. cynapium
Binomial name
Aethusa cynapium

The Fool's Parsley (Aethusa cynapium) or Fool's Cicely or Poison Parsley is an annual (rarely biennial) herb in the plant family Apiaceae, native to Europe, western Asia and northwest Africa. It is the only member of the genus Aethusa.


Inflorescence of Fool's Parsley.

It has a fusiform root and a smooth hollow branched stem growing to about 80 cm high, with much divided (ternately pinnate) smooth leaves with an unpleasant smell, and small compound umbels of small irregular white flowers. It is related to Hemlock and Water-dropwort, and like them, is poisonous, though less so than Hemlock. Poisoning from Fool's Parsley showed symptoms of heat in the mouth and throat and a post-mortem examination showed redness of the lining membrane of the gullet and windpipe and slight congestion of the duodenum and stomach. Since some toxins are destroyed by drying, hay containing the plant is not poisonous. Symptoms of poisoning are heat in the mouth and throat.

It has been introduced into many other parts of the world and is a common weed in cultivated ground.

External links


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Illustration of Aethusa cynapium from Koehler's Medicinal-Plants 1887


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids II
Ordo: Apiales
Familia: Apiaceae
Genus: Aethusa
Species: Aethusa cynapium


Aethusa cynapium, L.


USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database, 6 March 2006 ( Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Vernacular Name

Deutsch: Hundspetersilie
English: Fool's Parsley, Fool's Cicely, Poison Parsley
Español: Apio de Perro, Cicuta de Olor de Apio, Cicuta Menor, Perejil Bastardo, Perejil de Perro, Perejil Loco, Perejil Traidor
Français: Petite Ciguë, Persil des Chiens
Nederlands: Hondspeterselie
Polski: Blekot Pospolity
Русский: Кокорыш обыкновенный, Собачья петрушка
Svenska: Vildpersilja


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