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AETHUSA cynapium

Image of Aethusa cynapium

Jesse Saylor

Family

Apiaceae

Botanical Name

AETHUSA cynapium

Plant Common Name

Fool's Parsley

General Description

A Eurasian native that resembles garden parsley but possesses powerful toxins, this annual or biennial has naturalized in parts of the eastern United States.

The ferny, much-divided, chervil-like leaves of fool's parsley are borne on well-branched, calf- to thigh-high stems. The dark shiny leaves release an unpleasant odor when bruised. In spring or summer, plants bear flat, spoked, long-stemmed umbels of small white flowers. The umbels typically have several conspicuous, drooping, needle-shaped bracts. Small oval fruits with prominent ribs follow the flowers.

This weed typically occurs in roadsides and waste areas. Control it by hoeing or pulling plants before they set fruit. For information on its toxic properties see http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aethusa%20cynapium .

Characteristics

  • Plant Type

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    8"-30" / 20.3cm - 76.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Europe, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes