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Cow parsley

Anthriscus sylvestris

Queen Anne's lace, Cow weed, Deil's meal, Keck, Mock chervil, Orchard weed, Wild caraway, Wild chervil, Wild parsley

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Cow parsley is a pretty, wild flower native to the United Kingdom, commonly found in hedgerows, field margins and verges. The white flower umbels on tall stems sway gently in the breeze in spring across the British countryside. It has become a very popular plant at the Chelsea Flower Show, and is often used in natural garden schemes.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Fruiting time
Spring, Summer

Harvesting

Seed can be collected in late Summer when ripe. Flowers can be picked throughout the flowering season for display.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds in a cold frame or under glass in spring or autumn, or sow directly into the ground in Summer.
Rhizomes
Spreads naturally via underground roots or rhizomes.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Flowers are good source of nectar for bees, hoverflies and other insects.

Geography

Origin
Europe Western Asia Northwest Africa
Natural climate
Cold to Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Edible
Cow parsley is said to be bitter, but edible. However, it is not recommended for consumption, as the plant looks very similar to several highly poisonous varieties.

Personality

Family
Apiaceae
Flower colour
White
Scent
Mild

Problems

May be attacked by slugs, snails and caterpillars when young. Sometimes affected by powdery mildew.

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