Cow parsley Anthriscus sylvestris

Status Green - Least concern
Best Time to See April, May, June
Habitat Woodland

"No water was there,cow parsley the only flower."

- Ivor Gurney, "The Cloud"


Frothy and lacy, this wildflower grows in abundance along thoroughfares in summer. Stems are hollow, without spots. Leaves are fern-like with pointed leaflets.

Where it grows

Often seen on roadsides and near hedgerows. Also found in woodland edges.

Best time to see

April, May and June

How is it doing?

One of the few flowers that benefits from current road verge management since it likes high levels of nutrients (much like nettles). Sadly, this is at the expense of other species.

Did you know?

  • Like the closely-related wild carrot, it is also called "Queen Anne’s Lace". Other names are Lady's lace, Fairy lace, Spanish lace, Kex, Kecksie, Queque, Mother die, Step-mother, Grandpa's pepper, Hedge parsley, Badman's oatmeal, Blackman's tobacco and Rabbit meat.
  • It is related to the carrot as well as parsley.
  • It can be confused with hemlock (which is poisonous) and hogweed (sap burns in sunlight), so if handling, caution is advised.

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