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Anthriscus - (L.)Hoffm.

Common Name Chervil, Garden chervil
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Hedgebanks, roadsides and waste places[9, 17].
Range South-eastern Europe. Naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Anthriscus Chervil, Garden chervil

Anthriscus Chervil, Garden chervil


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Anthriscus is a BIENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from June to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Chaerophylum sativum.


Edible Uses

Edible leaves - raw in salads or used as a flavouring in cooked foods such as soups and stews[2, 14, 21, 27, 46, 61, 100, 244]. A mild aromatic flavour[183] that is suggestive of aniseed[238]. The leaves are often used as a flavouring, they form the basis of the seasoning 'fines herbes'[200] and are an essential ingredient of 'bouquet garni'[244]. The leaves should always be used fresh because the delicate flavour does not withstand drying or prolonged cooking[238, 244]. The leaves are ready for harvesting in about 8 weeks from sowing, the plant responds well to cut and come again harvesting[200]. The flowers are used as a seasoning[183]. The root is said to be edible[177, 183].


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Chervil is not widely used as a medicinal herb, though it is sometimes employed as a 'spring tonic' for cleansing the liver and kidneys, is a good remedy for settling the digestion and is said to be of value in treating poor memory and mental depression[238, 244, 254]. The fresh plant, harvested just before flowering, is digestive, diuretic, expectorant, poultice and stimulant[9, 21, 201]. The juice is used in the treatment of dropsy, arthritis and chronic skin ailments[9]. The bruised leaves are used as a poultice for slow-healing wounds[9] and a warm poultice is applied to painful joints[268]. An infusion of the fresh leaves is also used as an eyewash to treat sore or inflamed eyes[244].


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Other Uses

The growing plant is said to repel slugs[238].

Special Uses


Cultivation details

Prefers a well-drained moisture retentive soil[200]. Plants dislike hot dry summers[200], it is best to give summer crops a cool shady position but winter crops require a sunny position[14, 18, 37, 52]. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.8 to 7.6. Plants are hardy to about -10°c[200]. Chervil is occasionally cultivated as a salad plant, especially in France[268]. There are some named varieties[183]. It can supply fresh leaves all year round from successional sowings, especially if given some protection in winter[238]. Although a biennial, it is usually cultivated as an annual[238]. It often self-sows when grown in a suitable position[18, 200]. Be careful if harvesting this plant from the wild because it is superficially similar to some poisonous species such as young plants of hemlock, Conium maculatum[244]. Chervil is an aromatic plant with pleasantly scented leaves[245]. It is said to be a good companion plant for growing with carrots and radishes[18, 201], the radishes becoming hotter and crisper[201]. It also grows well with dill and coriander[201]. When grown with lettuces it is said to protect them from aphids and ants, the plant is also said to repel slugs[238].


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Seed - sow in situ in succession from February to October. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 3 weeks[200]. The February, September and October sowings should be made in a very sheltered warm and sunny position outdoors or under some protection such as a frame. Other sowings can be made in a position that has at least some shade from the midday sun since the plant runs to seed quickly if it gets too hot or the soil is dry[238]. The seed only remains viable for about a year[238].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Anthriscus cerefoliumChervil, Garden chervilBiennial0.5 6-9  LMHFSNM32 
Anthriscus sylvestrisCow Parsley, Wild chervilBiennial1.2 6-9  LMHFSNDM211

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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