Cow Parsley - Anthriscus sylvestris

    Alternative names

    Medium to tall, rather robust plant to 1.5 metres. Leaves dull green 3 pinnate. Flowers white 3 to 4 mm in umbels with 4 to 15 rays, without lower bracts.

    Similar Species

    Similar to many other medium-sized white flowered umbellifers with ferny divided leaves

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    The dominant umbellifer of roadside hedges. Stems hollow; fruits ridged towards the top (not spiny, bristly or warty) and elongated (c.3 times longer than wide).  Bracteoles and sometimes bracts present.


    Rough grassy habitats, hedgerows, banks and roadside verges.

    When to see it

    April to June.

    Life History

    Biennial or perennial, rarely an annual.

    UK Status

    Common throughout Britain though scarcer in the north

    VC55 Status

    Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 605 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Native, abundant

    be our species champion

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map