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Washington State Weeds

Wild Chervil

Wild Chervil

Anthriscus sylvestris • Class B

Family Name: Apiaceae family (ay-pee-AY-see-eye)
Common: Carrot/celery family (formerly Umbelliferae)
Genus: Anthriscus (an-THRISS-kuss)
Meaning: From the Greek and Latin name for another but unidentified plant
Species: sylvestris (sil-VESS-triss)
Meaning: Of the woods, growing wild

Wild Chervil is a biennial, or short-lived perennial that grows from 1 to 4 feet tall and reproduces by seed.

Stems are hollow and ridged, with a fringe of hairs at the stem nodes.

Leaves are alternate, shiny green, nearly hairless, and divided into smaller, fernlike leaves. The base of each leaf surrounds the stem.

Its small 5 petaled white flowers are arranged in umbels at the top of the plant, instead of the leaf axils, like Burr chervil.

Wild Chervil produces 2 joined seeds, about 1/4" long with 2 antennae-like styles at the top. Seeds are narrow, smooth, and shiny dark brown when ripe. 

 Why Is it a Noxious Weed?

 It has an aggressive growth habit and quickly creates a monoculture.  It poses a serious threat to native plants and agriculture. 

Where Does it Grow?

It is highly adaptable and will grow in almost any type of soil. Wild Chervil is found on roadsides, forest edges and in waste areas. It grows mainly in poorly-drained soils, often on stream or ditch banks, and wet meadows. 

Facts: Most of Pierce County is highly susceptible to Wild Chervil. 

Control Options:
  • The most effective control is prevention. Above all else, prevent plants from going to seed.
  • Tilling followed by reseeding with desireable vegetation is marginally effective for control of Wild Chervil. It brings the storage roots of the plant out of the ground where they will dry out, however it will not prevent seed production in the wet months. Research shows that tillage and reseeding of grass species provides a less than 50% control of Wild Chervil. 
  • Cutting, digging, and pulling are not effective on wild chervil. 

  • Combining herbicidal treatment followed by tillage one week after application delivers about 80% control when using an herbicide containing the active ingredient glyphosate. A 98% success rate can be achieved when using an herbicide containing imazapyr. Spray each plant thoroughly on the stems and leaves, enough to be wet but not dripping. Herbicide application should take place when plants are actively growing and before seeds are produced. Be aware, glyphosate and imazapyr are non-selective and will injure any plants they come in contact with, including grass. 
  • There are currently no biological control methods available for Wild Chervil. 

More Information:

 Download our Flyer or visit Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board Here. Photo by Leo Michels


More Pictures:  

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