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FutureStarrCow Parsley Leavesor
What do you think about cow parsley? We know that most people have probably never heard of it. But it’s an excellent wild edible that’s worth trying. You might want to try it if you come across another name for it, or if you want to identify the plant in the wild.Cow parsley AKA Wild chervil, and sometimes referred to as Queen Anne’s Lace, though several plants in the apiaceae family get this name, including wild carrot (daucus carota). Its not clear if this has arisen from misidentification, or just regional differences, but certainly demonstrates the usefulness of binomial names for precise discussion of wild species.
This includes deadly species such as hemlock and hemlock water-dropwort, which can grow alongside it. Always confirm your identification against several key features and discard if you are not 100% of what you have. Read more: An Introduction to the Carrot/Apiaceae Family for Foragers.For me, the real delight of cow parsley comes over a short 2 to 3 week window (around the second half of April in SW Scotland) when the young flowering stems rapidly push their way up from the basal leaves. These are crisp and juicy after light peeling (they peel very readily, eager to give up their gifts!). They are one of my favourite hedgerow snacks in late April. Most plants produce a few of these stems, so its only manners to take just one from each plant you visit. They are a really great vegetable in the kitchen too – steamed, stir-fried, added to salads or as a delightfully crisp crudite…maybe for dipping in wild garlic pesto..? Cheffy types could certainly pipe nice things into their hollow tubes.
Most collect the seeds when brown, put them into a chopper, (I use Magic Bullet) to make the most wonderful seasoning for all kinds of foods and meats. It has a much better smell and flavor than the leaves or roots really (In my own humble opinion) and much easier to Identify Hemlock flowers to me seem tight ball heads where wild chervil doesn’t more soft and loose, and the queen Annes flower in one big flower like a lace patch with a dot of red in the center. Perhaps pictures of these too would help in Identification?genus Anthriscus. It is also sometimes called mother-die (especially in the UK), a name that is also applied to the common hawthorn. It is native to Europe, western Asia and northwestern Africa; in the south of its range in the Mediterranean region, it is limited to higher altitudes. It is related to other diverse members of Apiaceae, such as parsley, carrot, hemlock and hogweed. It is often confused with Daucus carota which is also known as Queen Anne's lace or wild carrot, also a member of the Apiaceae. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)