Things that look a bit like cow parsley

The hedgerows are full of cow parsley at the moment. Rough chervil and upright hedge parsley are similar but they flower in succession, after cow parsley. Cow parsley has soft, fern-like leaves, small bracteoles but no bracts.

umbellifer diagram

Leigh Lane, just off Wrangaton road between Moorhaven and Green Lane, is a good place to spot umbellifers. Pignut is plentiful at the moment. The flowers make it look like a small version of cow parsley but the leaves (which will die back soon) are very distinctive, much more wispy and finely cut than cow parsley leaves.

Sanicle has distinctive flowers. They are not quite open in the photo below, but will soon look like a cluster of tiny powder puffs or pompoms. The leaves are chunkier than cow parsley’s.


Hemlock water dropwort is coming out along Wrangaton road, and already in flower at the Island in South Brent. It is a handsome plant with stout stems, glossy, parsley-like leaves and umbels held more separately than in cow parsley. Noticeable bracteoles but bracts are sometimes absent. Poisonous.

hemlock water dropwort


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