Species: Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)

Family: Umbellifers (APIACEAE or UMBELLIFERAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: SE

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Umbellifers (APIACEAE or UMBELLIFERAE)

These are mostly aromatic herbaceous plants with alternate feather-divided leaves that are sheathed at the base. The family contains both useful edible members and intensely poisonous ones, so correct identification before harvesting is vital.

C. Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)

Cow Parsley is a robust herbaceous biennial, so is short-lived. Its hollow stems push the plant to a height of around 150cms, which branch into umbels of delicate white or cream flowers. The leaves are fern-like, divided, long and triangular. It flowers from April to June.

Cow Parsley grows quickly and is often seen on roadside verges. Its rapid seed production often makes it proliferate locally. The one in the south-east corner of the Cemetery was planted there.

A vernacular name for Cow Parsley is Mother die or Mummy die, coined to deter children from picking it, given its similarity to the deadly hemlock. This thoughtful naming of Cow Parsley to deter children from picking it is amply described in an excellent article on the Plant Lore website.

Images

Cow Parsley

Cow Parsley is a robust herbaceous biennial whose stems branch into umbels of delicate white or cream flowers.

Cow Parsley

The leaves of Cow Parsley are fern-like, divided, long and triangular. It flowers from April to June.

Cow Parsley

Cow Parsley grows quickly and is often seen on roadside verges. Its rapid seed production often makes it proliferate locally. The one in the south-east corner of the Cemetery (seen here in mid-March) was planted there, and is yet to grow to full height and flower.