Wild Chervil

Fact SheetTreatmentAnthriscus sylvestris

Invader Images

    • Wild Chervil Flower
      Wild Chervil Flower
    • Wild Chervil Fruit
      Wild Chervil Fruit
    • Wild Chervil Infestation
      Wild Chervil Infestation
    • wild chervil leaf
      wild chervil leaf

Common Look-alikes

    • Common Caraway
      Common Caraway
    • Queen Anne's Lace
      Queen Anne's Lace

Identification

CAUTION! This plant contains toxins that cause minor skin irritation.  When treating, wear appropriate clothing to prevent resinous substances from contacting skin.

Appearance

Anthriscus sylvestris is a herbaceous biennial that grows up to 3.25 ft. (1 m) in height. The stems are hollow and covered in hairs. 

Foliage

The plant has alternately arranged, compound, fern-like leaves. Each segment of the leaf can measure 0.5-2 in. (1.5-5 cm) in length.

Flowers

The umbels of this plant are large, having 6-15 rays that can reach up to 1.5 in. (4 cm) in length. Each of the bractlets is lance-ovate in shape and measures 0.1-0.25 in. (3-6 mm) in length. The flowers are white and have 5 notched petals. Anthriscus sylvestris blooms from May to June.

Fruit

The fruits are smooth, lanceolate in shape and measure 0.25 in. (6 mm) long. They have a pronounced beak that measures 0.04 in. (1 mm) long. The fruits start out green and turn brown as they ripen.

Look-a-Like

Distinguished from similar plants by stems that are ribbed or furrowed, entirely green, hairy on the lower portion and smooth on the upper portions and with a fringe of hairs at the stem nodes

Biology

This is considered a watch list species

Origin

Native to Europe

Habitat

Abandoned Field, Agricultural Field, Edge, Open Disturbed Area, Pasture, Yard or Garden. Anthriscus sylvestris grows well in rich moist soils and is most commonly found along roadsides, meadows, and pastures. It is particularly problematic in hayfields and pastures in central Vermont

Life cycle

Anthriscus sylvestris can reproduce both by seed and by vegetative means. Vegetatively, it makes use of aggressive, fast spreading taproots that have lateral root buds capable of sprouting new plants. 

Ecological Threat

Anthriscus sylvestris may be transported by vehicles, particularly those used to mow it down after it has set seed, as well as people, animals, and wind. Since it is tall and grows aggressively, it may outcompete native vegetation by forming extensive stands resulting in shading of other species, and by utilizing resources more effectively.

Management Options

Mechanical Control

Wild chervil’s out-competes natural vegetation. The weed is also a known host for a virus disease that infects carrots, celery, and parsnips. Wild chervil is very difficult to control because of its extremely deep taproot and tolerance to selective herbicides. Rosettes and immature plants can be controlled by digging out the roots. Mature plants must be removed below the root crown to prevent resprouting. It is not known as a problem in cultivated fields.

**Be careful not to damage or kill nearby native plants when conducting management work. And when using herbicides, always follow the instructions on the label.**

Citations

Photo Credit

5448725, 5448737, 5448761, Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

1380317, Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

5089067, Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, Bugwood.org

5271013, Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut 

Information Credit 

Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, Second Link 

USDA Forest Service

King County, WA