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Report an Invasive Species

Wild Chervil

Wild Chervil

Wild Chervil

(Anthriscus sylvestris)

Priority: -  Contain

Tags: Agricultural

Identification and Reproduction

Identification 

  • Biennial, short-lived perennial that is in the carrot/parsley family.
  • Grows upright and can almost reach two metres tall

  • Wild chervil has white flowers in umbrella-like clusters, with bract-like leaves under flowers. Clusters are found at the top of stem. Blooms occur from April to May. 

 

  • Leaves are triangular, finely divided, resembling ferns, softly hairy. 

  • Stems are ribbed, green, and has distinct hairs on lower portion 
  • Tuberous roots can extend almost two metres into soil.

Reproduction: 

  • Spreads rapidly through seed and vegetative fragments such as root buds.
  • Seeds are easily dispersed by wind, animals and people. 
  • Its deep taproot makes it difficult to remove. 

Habitat & Ecology

  • Wild chervil prefers moist, rich soils that are moderately disturbed.
  • It is only found in open habitats. 
  • It is commonly found along dithes, roadsides, fences, streambanks and moist woodlands. 
  • Wild chervil is deemed regionally noxious in BC.

Impacts

Social: 

  • Will crowd out forage plants.
  • Mature plants are toxic and livestock will avoid them. 
  • Can spread disease to crop species in the same family like carrot, parsnips, and celery.
  • Mature plants are toxic and livestock will avoid them.

Ecological: 

  • Displace native plants and reduce biodiversity.
  • Can reduce wildlife habitat.
  • It uptakes nutrients and water resources aggressively, out-competing natives vegetation. 

Management

  • Chemical control may not be an option as wild chervil is often found in wet sites near waterbodies. Chemical applications also may not be effective on the deep taproot. 
  • Be cautious when purchasing wildflower seed mixes, especially if they are not locally produced. These can contain seeds of wild chervil and other invasive species.

Mechanical/Manual Control:

  • Can be mechanically controlled if taproot can be entirely removed, this can be done through hand-pulling or digging. 
  • Mowing can be effective prior to seed set. 
  • Bag and seal any removed parts for landfill. 

Resources

Download the Metro Vancouver's Best Management Practices here

King County is also a good resource for historic and identification information on the wild chervil. King County's Noxious Weeds Blog has a great post on wild chervil with various photos showing the plant at various growth stages, from close up shots to landscape shots.

The Government of Ontario is another good resource for explaining the history, identification, impacts, and spread of wild chervil.

For more information on wild chervil identification and its look-alike, poison hemlock check out the Jefferson County Weed Control Board's factsheet here. 

Another resource to help compare wild chervil to simliar species is provided by E-flora BC

View header photo here.