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

Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris), also known as Wild Chervil, Wild Beaked Parsley, and Keck, is a herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial plant in the family Apiaceae, genus Anthriscus. 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.

Cow parsley

The hollow stem grows to a height of between 60-170 cm, branching to umbels of small white flowers. Flowering time is mid-spring to early summer.

The tripinnate leaves are 15-30 cm 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. The state of Vermont has listed cow parsley on its "Watch List" of invasive species while Massachusetts and Washington have banned the sale of the plant.

The base of a second year plant in september and a young layer (Warming 1884)


Anthriscus sylvestris W.jpg

Cow Parsley is considered to be edible, though having a somewhat unpleasant flavour, sharper than Garden Chervil, with a hint of Carrot.

Cow Parsley is rumoured to be a natural mosquito repellent when applied directly to the skin. However cow parsley can be confused with giant hogweed, the sap of which can cause severe burns after coming in contact with the skin.




Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Anthriscus sylvestris


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
Subfamilia: Apioideae
Tribus: Scandiceae
Genus: Anthriscus
Species: Anthriscus sylvestris
Subspecies: A. s. subsp. alpina - A. s. subsp. fumarioides - A. s. subsp. nemorosa - A. s. subsp. sylvestris


Anthriscus sylvestris (L.) Hoffm.


  • Genera Plantarum Umbelliferarum Eorumque Characteres Naturales Secundum Numerum, Figuram, Situm et Proportionem Omnium Fructificationis Partium. Accedunt Icones et Analyses Aeri Incisae. Mosquae [Moscow] 40. 1814
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. 316555

Vernacular names

Česky: Kerblík lesní
Deutsch: Wiesenkerbel, Wild-Kälberkropf
Eesti: Mets-harakputk
English: Cow Parsley, Wild Chervil, Wild Beaked Parsley, Keck
Español: Perifollo Verde
Français: Anthrisque Sauvage, Cerfeuil des Bois
Gàidhlig: Costag Fhiadhain
Nederlands: Fluitenkruidbloemen
‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Hundekjeks
Polski: Trybula Leśna
Русский: Купырь лесной
Suomi: Koiranputki
Svenska: Hundfloka e. Hundkäx


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