Rough Chervil

Poisonous Poisonous Autumn Autumn Spring Spring Summer Summer

This widespread and common member of the apiacea or carrot family looks very much like edible wild chervil but it is poisonous. The scientific name temulum means drunken alluding to some of the symptoms shown by animals after consumption. It is slightly smaller at 1m than wild chervil and is the first of the apiacea to flower after wild chervil so it is often mistaken for it – another good reason to not forage for wild chervil!


Hedgerow Type
Common Names Rough Chervil, Rough chervil
Scientific Name Chaerophyllum temulum
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Season End
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


Tapering serrated leaves like chervil or hemlock. Twice or three times pinnate (branched). Hairy on both sides.


Small white flowers in umbels very typical of the apiacea/carrot family and closely resembling wild chervil or hemlock. Extra small leaves hanging down around edge of umbels – bracts. 


Ridged tapering cylinders 4-6mm long.


Hairy and purple or purple spots, swollen at the joints (nodes).


Hedgerows, woodland edges, waste ground.

Other Facts

The number of toxins in and symptoms caused by eating rough chervil is impressive. Vertigo, drowsiness, stomach inflamation, heart issues, are caused by ingestion, and the sap causes irritation and rashes. It has been used in folk medicine, at one point for leprosy where temporary blindness was a side effect! 


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