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Cow Parsley – Anthriscus sylvestris

Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) is also known as Queen Anne’s Lace and is a member of the Carrot Family. This plant is commonly found along roadside verges and produces a distinctive odour.

This tall plant has a hollow stem which turns purple as it ages, with the sharp, fresh green leaves. The flowers are typically white in colour and form open, lacy looking umbels from April to June. Once the plant has flowered, it is followed by dark, smooth coated seeds.

Cow Parsley is often found on moist, shaded, fertile soil typically found along hedgerows, road verges and woodland edges. This plant is intolerant to very wet or very dry soils and sites that are heavily grazed. This hollow stemmed plant can grow rapidly in the summer before it dies back. The large distinctive flat umbrellas of white flowers with large fern like leaves produces a very strong smell when crushed, it has said to smell like Aniseed.

Height: 30 – 90cm
Flowering Time: April – June
Preferred Conditions: Can tolerate wet or dry soil but mainly found on the edge of woodlands and neglected pastures.

Cow Parsley - Anthriscus sylvestris