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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

16 June, 2010

Rough Chervil (Chaerophyllum temulentum)

Something has happened along our hedgerows over the last couple of weeks and you may not have even noticed.

The Cow Parsley that flowered in April and May is now over and yet there are still plants that you could easily take for Cow Parsley in full flower. Cow Parsley has been replabed by Rough Chervil.

Rough Chervil is as common as Cow Parsley and looks very similar at first glance. It is not at all easy to tell the difference. Indeed, even my flower 'bible' starts its description with 'resembles Cow Parsley and is its June successor''!

There are differences, of course, but apart from the time difference the other way is to run your fingers along the stem, if it is smooth it is Cow Parsley but if it is rough then, yes, it is Rough Chervil. On close examination, the leaves are different and Rough Chervil has almost black stems.

So, next time you are walking along by a hedgerow run your fingers over the stems of the Cow Parsley look-a-likes. If it feels rough then you have Rough Chervil!