A common species this plant can grow to 1m tall and often covers roadside verges with white umbel flowers during the spring and summer.
Common name: cow parsley, Queen Anne’s lace, Mother die
Scientific name: Anthriscus sylvestris
Not to be confused with…
Fool’s parsley (Aethusa cynapium): this species can be distinguished from cow parsley by the bracteoles that are found underneath the flower head.
Upright hedge-parsley (Torilis japonica): this species flowers later than cow parsley, from around July to September, and is smaller in size. The umbels are only around four centimetres wide, compared to the six centimetres wide cow parsley umbels.
Hemlock (Conium maculatum): the leaves of this plant are similar to those of cow parsley but the stem has purple spotted markings on and the plant itself is much bigger, able to grow to around two metres. Careful – this species is poisonous.
Wild carrot (Daucus carota): at a distance wild carrot may look like cow parsley but the umbel of wild carrot is made up of many florets, frequently with a purple one in the middle.