Wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris)

Wild chervil

Anthriscus sylvestris


  • Herbaceous perennial that grows up to 1m in height
  • Stems are hollow and pubescent
  • Alternately arranged, compound, fern-like leaves
  • Small flowers are white, bloom in umbels (umbrella shaped clusters) and have 5 notched petals
  • Blooms from May – June
Wild chervil stem (K. Olynyk photo).

Consequences of invasion

  • Grows aggressively, outcompeting native vegetation
  • Its height and density allow it to cover other species in the shade, preventing photosynthesis
  • Outcompetes forage available to wildlife and is not palatable to them
  • Host to yellow fleck virus which affects agricultural crops including carrots, parsnips and celery.

Status in the CKISS region

  • It has been found in the Kaslo, Nelson, and Lower Arrow Invasive Plant Management Areas (IPMAs), but is not known to be in other IPMAs in the region.
  • The goal is to contain the species within Containment Areas inside the Lower Arrow and Kaslo IPMAs, and to prevent it from spreading to new areas.
  • If you notice this plant growing outside of its containment areas, please report it!
  • To learn more about how CKISS classifies and manages invasive species, see our Invasive Species Priority Lists page.

Integrated pest management options

  • Hand pulling or digging are possible but the plants have deep, thick taproots which make removal difficult.
  • Mature plants must be removed below the crown to prevent re-sprouting
  • Mowing is not as effective as plants may grow new flowers below the height of the mower, but consistent mowing of several years may help to control the plant.
  • Chemical treatment is often not an option as the plant is commonly found in wet areas where this is not permitted.
  • Cut and bag flowering plants and dispose them at your local landfill
  • Choose wildflower seed mixtures carefully
  • Become PlantWise to prevent introducing wild chervil in your garden.

Additional resources