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

 

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 br 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. 

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.