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Wild Chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris)
Herbaceous, monocarpic perennial that has hollow stems covered in soft hairs.
Wild Chervil is Prohibited (Red counties) and Restricted (Orange counties)
Other names for this plant include:
- Common names: bur chervil, cow parsley, keck
- Scientific names: Chaerophyllum sylvestre
- Invades roadsides, open woods, fields and pastures.
- It is a host to parsnip yellow fleck virus which infects carrots, celery, and parsnips.
- It has been planted as an ornamental and is found in some European wildflower seed mixes.
Classification in Wisconsin: Prohibited/Restricted (Restricted in Adams, Barron, Chippewa, Crawford, Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Dunn, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Lacrosse, Lafayette, Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Ozaukee, Polk , Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Taylor, Vernon, Walworth, Waukesha, and Washington counties; Prohibited elsewhere)
Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for wild chervil was based upon this literature review developed by the department.
Leaves: Alternate, fern-like leaflets are nearly hairless with the leaf base clasping the stem.
Flowers: Umbels of small, 5-petaled, white flowers blooms late May-early July.
Fruits and seeds: Each flower produces 2 shiny, long brown seeds that are joined.
Roots: Thick taproot with lateral buds can be up to 6’ deep.
Similar species: Wild Carrot (Daucus carota; non-native) has bracts at the base of each umbel and often has a purple flower in the center of the umbel. Japanese and spreading hedge parsley (Torilis japonica and T. arvensis; both invasive) leaves are sparse and both are more freely branching. Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum; invasive) is taller, up to 9.5’, and has stems that are ridged and have purple mottling.
Counties in WI where wild chervil has been reported (as of July 2013). Both vouchered and unvouchered reports included.
Do you have wild chervil in your county but it isn't shaded on the map? Send us a report.
Mechanical: Hand pull or dig up rosettes or small plants ensuring to remove entire root. Repeated mowing throughout growing season will deplete root reserves and prevent seed set.
Chemical: Foliar spray with either clopyralid or dicamba before blooming and one month after a pre-bloom cut.
For more information on control techniques, visit the Wild Chervil factsheet by University of Wisconsin-Extension.
View wild chervil pictures in our photo gallery!
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. 70-72
Links for More Information