Anthriscus sylvestris (L.) Hoffm.

First published in Gen. Pl. Umbell.: 40 (1814)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Temp. Eurasia to Tropical African Mountains. It is a biennial or perennial and grows primarily in the temperate biome.


Umbelliferae, C.C. Townsend. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1989

Morphology General Habit
Erect, strong-growing perennial, 0.6–1.5(–l.8) m., with a ± incrassate, subtuberous rootstock propagating by offsets.
Morphology Stem
Stem fistular, striate to sulcate, glabrous throughout or ± pubescent below, shrinking below the nodes when dry, much-branched with branches alternate or several arising from the same point.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves 2–3 to sub-4-pinnate, delicate and fern-like; lower leaves deltoid in outline, the lamina ± 6–30 × 5–25 cm., with toothed, lanceolate to ovate, acute to rather blunt segments 1–4 mm. wide, furnished with white substrigose hairs on the venation (especially beneath) to subglabrous; lamina with a long, acuminate, pinnatipartite apex and pointed apical segment or blunter with the apical segment trifid; sheaths ± 2–4.5 cm., oblong, striate, glabrous to ciliate or tomentose, broadly membranous-margined, auriculate above; petiole long, ± 7–16 cm., glabrous or it and the rhachis white-pilose especially between the pinnae and pinnules; upper leaves becoming smaller, more shortly petiolate and finally sessile, less divided.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Umbels on ± 1.5–6 cm. peduncles; rays (3–)4–12, glabrous, ± 0.5–3.5 cm.; involucre absent or very rarely a single small oblong bract present; partial umbels 5–12-flowered; pedicels 3–8 mm. with a ring of bristles at the top; 2–9 flowers bearing fruit; involucel of mostly 5–6 oblong-obovate to oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, finally deflexed, finely ciliate, pale-margined bracteoles 3–10 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx absent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Outer petals somewhat radiant, 2–3 mm., notched above, inner ± half the length.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit narrowly oblong-elliptic or oblong-ovate, ± 6–9 × 2 mm., with an indistinct grooved beak slightly 3-angled dorsally, glabrous and shining or covered with antrorse, tuberculate-based bristles; stylopodia shortly conical, exceeded by the rather slender ± 1 mm. styles.

Ghazanfar, S. A. & Edmondson, J. R (Eds). (2014) Flora of Iraq, Volume 5 Part 2: Lythraceae to Campanulaceae.

Morphology General Habit
Erect perennial, 60–100(–150) cm, much-branched from halfway or below
Morphology Stem
Stem stout, fistular, sulcate, either glabrous throughout or, with petioles of lower leaves and lower branches, ± hispid or shortly hairy
Morphology General
Upper parts, including the umbel rays, glabrous (excepting bracteole margins and sometimes fruit)
Morphology Leaves
Leaves all similar, broadly deltoid in outline tripinnate into ovate to oblong-lanceolate, acute segments, lower long-petiolate, uppermost sessile on sheaths, all glabrous on upper surface, ± hispid on lower surface on veins and along margins
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Peduncles
Peduncles 2–4(–7) cm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Umbels many, 4–15(–20)-rayed, fertile rays 2.5–4 cm Partial umbels 7–15-flowered, outer flowers distinctly radiate, 4 mm in diameter
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Involucre
Involucre absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Involucel of ± 5 oblong, 2–6 mm, ciliate bracts
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit 6–8 × 2–2.5 mm, broadest near the base and attenuate above, glabrous or furnished with short, stiff, curved, tuberculate-based bristles; beak very short, sulcate, less than 1 mm as a rule, not clearly marked off from the body of fruit; primary ribs only faintly visible above, and in the beak; pedicels with a ring of hairs at tip immediately below the fruit
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stylopodium
Stylopodia turgidly conical, suddenly attenuate into the persistent, ± 1 mm styles, disk depressed.
Almost throughout Europe; also widely distributed in temperate Asia from Turkey through N & NW Iran, Caucasus, Kashmir, Tibet and the Himalayas to Korea, China and Japan; NW, tropical and S Africa; introduced in N America.
Var. sylvestris, with glabrous fruit, occurs throughout most of the range of the species but not in Iraq. In Iraq represented by var. nemorosa

Common Names

Cow Parsley


  • Flora of Iraq

  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

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  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

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