Weed Seed: Anthriscus sylvestris (Cow parsley)
Primary Noxious, Class 2 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act.
Canadian: Occurs in BC, ON, QC, NB, NL, NS (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).
Worldwide: Native to northern Africa, Europe and Asia and introduced to southern Africa, North America and Chile (USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2).
Duration of life cycle
Biennial or short-lived perennial
Seed or fruit type
Schizocarp, divided into 2 mericarps
- Mericarp length: 6.0 - 7.0 mm
- Mericarp width: 1.2 - 1.6 mm
- Mericarp is elongate, tapering to a remnant floral style at the top
- Mericarp is shiny, smooth
- Mericarp is medium brown
- Furrow along ventral side of mericarp.
- Teardrop-shaped depression at base of mericarp.
Habitat and Crop Association
Pastures, damp meadows, old fields, open forests, stream banks, ditches, roadsides and other disturbed areas (Darbyshire et al. 1999Footnote 3, Darbyshire 2003Footnote 4). Weed of perennial forage crops and pastures in North America (Darbyshire et al. 1999Footnote 3).
Cow parsley produces 800 to 10,000 seeds per plant, which are often dispersed by agricultural equipment (Rew et al. 1996Footnote 5) and traffic corridors (Magnússon 2006Footnote 6). This species prefers disturbed habitats and forest edges with moist or mesic soils, rich with organic matter (Darbyshire et al. 1999Footnote 3).
Garden chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)
- Garden chervil is a similar elongated shape, size, brown colour and floral style to cow parsley.
- Garden chervil has a longer floral style (2.0 - 4.0 mm), a bumpy surface texture and is thinner (1.0 mm) compared to cow parsley.
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