Anthriscus flowers

A group of shade loving, hardy annuals, biennials and short-lived perennials with fern-like leaves and tall, flat umbels of tiny white flowers.

Family: Apiaceae
Botanical Name: Anthriscus
Common Names: Cow parsley, wild chervil, wild beaked parsley, Queen Anne's lace, keck.

Foliage: Deciduous, feathery leaves on hairy stems. The foliage and stems have a mild parsley aroma.

Flowers: White flower umbels on tall ribbed stems.

Flowering Period: June-August (usually in second year).

Soil: Moist but well-drained soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.

Conditions: Sun or partial shade. Plant in an east, west or south facing aspect.

Habit: Bushy, upright.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Origin: Europe

Hardiness: Hardy in the UK.

Toxicity: May be harmful to contact with skin in sunlight. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling.

Planting and Growing Anthriscus

Easy to grow. Thrives best in part shade in a moist, light soil. Incorporate plenty of organic matter to the soil before planting to improve its structure and moisture retention.

Taking Care of Anthriscus

Apply a mulch of organic matter in spring.

Pruning Anthriscus

Deadhead to prevent self-seeding. Cut stems down to ground level in early autumn.

Pests and Diseases

Susceptible to attack by slugs, snails and caterpillars. Can be affected by powdery mildews.

Propagating Anthriscus

Sow fresh seed under the protection of a cold frame, in autumn or spring.

Popular Varieties of Anthriscus

Anthriscus cerefolium (Chervil) is a feathery foliaged hardy annual herb. Best in partial shade. Flowers from April to June. The young leaves have a mild parsley flavour and can be used fresh in soups, sauces and for garnishing. Sow seed in situ monthly, from spring to early autumn. Height: 18-24in (45-60cm), spread: 12in (30cm).

Anthriscus sylvestris (cow parsley) is a common native plant that grows abundantly around the UK (not edible). Garden varieties include 'Raven's Wing', which is a pale-pink, spring flowering, decorative form.