About the only fern leaved member of the Apiaceae family that we consider safe as the aniseed smell is so strong it can’t be mistaken for one of the poisonous varieties.
|Common Names||Sweet Cicely, Sweet Cicely, Garden Myrrh, Sweet Chervil|
|Scientific Name||Myrrhis odorata|
The fern like leaves are distinctive from other Apiaceae as they have what looks like white paint slodges towards the base although these are not always present on every leaf. The young leaves are bright green, these become paler as the plant matures.
Has green elongated seed pods with vertical ridges that turn almost black when fully mature. These can often still be found on the plant well into Autumn.
Hedgerows, field edges and waste ground in Scotland and the north of England. Rarely found south of Birmingham.
Can look like several Apiaceae, most similar to Hemlock, pictured, and Wild Chervil but the pale slodges on the leaves and strong aniseed smell should help avoid confusion.
Strongly of aniseed.
Very common in Scotland and the north of England.
The seed pods, leaves, flowers and root of this plant can all be harvested and eaten. You must have permission from the landowner before uprooting any plant.
Sweet Cicely was used in the past to sweeten food and drink before sugar came to the British Isles.