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Hedgeparsley flowers

Spreading hedgeparsley (Torilis arvensis)

Herbaceous biennial in the carrot family. Flowering plants have erect, ridged, branched stems and grow 2-6’ tall.

Overview

Regulated areas of spreading hedgeparsley
Spreading hedgeparsley is Prohibited (Red counties)

Other names for this plant include:

  • Common names: Canada hedgeparsley, hedgeparsley
  • Scientific names: Torilis arvensis ssp. arvensis

Ecological threat:

  • Hedgeparsleys invade forests, grasslands, hedgerows, roadsides, and urban areas.
  • Pets, such as dogs, and other animals appear to be spreading hedgeparsley quickly throughout the state.

Classification in Wisconsin: Prohibited

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for spreading hedgeparsley was based upon this literature review developed by the department.

Identification

First year plant leaves: Low, parsley-like rosettes that stay green until late fall.

Second year plant leaves: Leaves are alternate, compound, fern-like, 2-5 inches long and slightly hairy.

Flowers: Flowers are tiny, white and grow in small, loose, flat-topped umbels with out bracts at the base. Plants bloom July-August.

Fruits & seeds: Small seeds are covered in hooked hairs that attach to clothing and fur.

Roots: Taproot.

Similar species: Japanese hedgeparsley (Torilis japonica; invasive) has 2 or more pointed bracts at the base of each umbel, otherwise the two plants are very much the same. In general, there are many white-flowered look-alikes in the parsley family. One example is Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota; non-native), a widespread weed in Wisconsin, with similar fern-like leaves, but leaves and stems are hairy. When crushed, it smells like carrots. Other look-alikes include wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris; invasive), caraway (Carum carvi; non-native), poison hemlock (Conium maculatum; invasive), and Chinese hemlock parsley (Conioselinum chinense; native). The native sweet cicely (Osmorhiza spp.) may also be mistaken for the hedge parsleys.

Distribution

Known county distribution of spreading hedgeparsley
Counties in WI where spreading hedgeparsley has been reported (as of July 2011). Both vouchered and unvouchered reports included.

Currently, there have not been reports of spreading hedgeparsley in WI. Have you seen it? Send us a report.

Control

Mechanical: Pull or mow prior to flowering.

Chemical: Treat foliage with glyphosate, triclopyr, or metsulfron methyl in early spring or on plants that are resprouting after having been cut.

Photos

View spreading hedgeparsley pictures in our photo gallery!

Resources

Sources for content:

  • Czarapata, Elizabeth; Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: an illustrated guide to their identification and control. University of Wisconsin Press. 2005. Pg. 140

Links for More Information

Last revised: Wednesday December 19 2012