Local Terrestrial Invasives

WILD CHERVIL 

Identification: White Delicate Flowers, Fern-like leaf

Common Look-Alikes: Queen Anne’s Lace, Common Caraway

The following information taken from: Wise on Weeds, The Nature Conservancy, Montpelier, Vermont, “Wild Chervil Invasive Fact Sheet” online pdf.

Wild chervil invades Vermont’s fields and forests. It is easy to see in May and June when its white flowers are in bloom.

The Problem:

  •  Wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris) spreads quickly. Seeds are dispersed by wind, mowers and animals. Plants  also reproduce vegetatively by producing 5-10 crowns per plant.
  •  Chervil replaces native grasses and wildflowers.
  •  Hayfields can be destroyed by chervil. It produces poor quality forage and hay for grazing animals.
  •  It probably arrived in New England as a component of British wildflower seed mixes which were used to  recreate the floral meadows of Britain. Wild chervil may still be found in some wildflower seed packets and  buyers should make sure they have a complete list of plants within generic mixes that they are purchasing.

Manual treatment can be moderately effective for treatment of Wild chervil. • Wild chervil is a prolific seeder, thus treatment should happen before plants flower (typically in mid May-early June) to avoid the mature plants setting seed.

  • Pull entire plant by the base of the stem
  • Be sure to remove entire root system including the “s” shaped tap root
  • Put all pulled vegetation in plastic garbage bags and let plants fully decompose and dispose of in a landfill

CAUTION! This plant contains toxins that cause minor skin irritation.  When treating, wear appropriate clothing to prevent resinous substances from contacting skin.

For more information: Vermont Invasives Wise on Weeds, Nature Conservancy