Fool's Parsley - Aethusa cynapium


Low to medium hairless plant, stems ribbed, leaves 2 or 3 pinnate, dark green. Flowers white 2 mm in umbels with 10 to 20 rays, petals unequal. Bracts absent, but with 3 or 4 pendant bracteoles giving a bearded appearance.

Identification difficulty

Waste places, arable land and even gardens.

When to see it

June to October.

Life History

Annual, occasionally biennial.

UK Status

Common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 457 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as native, frequent

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map