Species: Fool's Parsley (Aethusa cynapium cynapium)

Family: Umbellifers (APIACEAE or UMBELLIFERAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: NW

A. Flowering Plants

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


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. Fool's Parsley (Aethusa cynapium cynapium)

The long upper bracts of the white flowers, seen in June, make the umbels look bearded. With a name including the word "fool's" this poisonous native umbellifer should be avoided, although astonishingly there are records of its use for gastro-intestinal conditions.