JWilkinson's picture

Possible Myrrhis odorata

Observed: 3rd June 2013 By: JWilkinsonJWilkinson’s reputation in PlantsJWilkinson’s reputation in Plants
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) interacts


lavateraguy's picture

Myrrhis odorata ...

... prior to fruiting can be visually distinguished from Anthriscus sylvestris by the more compact habit and bright green foliage, which this appears to have. The dense inflorescences also seem to match. However the fruits shown don't match the mature fruits of Myrrhis odorata (perhaps they are just immature).

Alternatives would be the chervils (Chaerophyllum, but I think that these are later flowering (they're rare around here - I only know 3 sites, though Myrrhis odorata isn't particularly common either, with about a dozen known sites).

The bracta and bracteoles are handy for distinguishing umbellifers; however if you couldn't get close enough to pick a piece of foliage to crush and test the odour you presumably couldn't get a view of the bracts and bracteoles either.

JWilkinson's picture


Yes, very frustratingly on the wrong side of the ditch!

Yes, distinctly different to all the Anthriscus sylvestris, and Oenanthe crocata both abundant at this site.

Chervils do look like the most likely alternative.

cicuta58's picture


Chaerophyllum aureum and hirsutum (white form) are garden plants that might fit. The leaves don't fit Myrrhis.


JWilkinson's picture


I haven't ever seen Myrrhis, so that was a guess after trawling through lots of books and photos, but good to have that ticked off and try to discover what it really is!

It could be a garden escape of course.

lavateraguy's picture

Cow parsley?

I discounted cow parsley firstly because I was trusting the observer, and secondly because of the bright green coloration of the leaves. (And thirdly because of the density of the flower heads.) But in retrospect, the second could be a failure of white balance in the camera in the instance of photographing leaves in bright sunlight.

JWilkinson's picture

I'm pretty sure it's not cow parsley...

...unless perhaps it has received a dose of crop spray from the other side of the hedge and become deformed through that?

The stems appeared to me (and my companion on this walk who has much greater experience than me!) much thicker than cow parsley. There was lots of cow parsley about, so easy for us to compare.

The photo was taken in evening light, so the balance may be a bit off, although I've corrected it somewhat. I can't say it was the colour of the leaves that particularly struck us, more the overall shape.

It would be really nice to know what it is, as it's part of my Plantlife wildflower survey!