Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris
) is a hollow-stemmed,
tall plant that grows rapidly in the summer up to one metre in
height, before dying back. It likes shady habitats in
particular, and can be found decorating woodland edges, roadside
verges and hedgerows with masses of frothy, white flowers. These
flower umbels (umbrella-like clusters) appear from May until
The large, flat umbrellas of small white flowers, and large,
fern-like leaves are familiar characteristics of Cow Parsley.
When crushed between the fingers, the leaves produce a strong,
almost aniseed-like scent. One of several common members of the
carrot family, this is the most abundant, and the
earliest-flowering of the roadside umbellifers, collectively
referred to as 'Queen Anne's Lace"
Information taken from
The Wildlife Trusts. See also
Cow Parsely: The Countryside Killer.