The genus Anthriscus Hoffmann

Remark The words or terms in red (actually dark orange) in the text are defined in a glossary.

jun_07_10.gthmb can't be loaded. Plants in the Anthriscus genus are annuals, biennials, or perennials from temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere, growing in grassland, wasteland, and lightly shaded woodland. Their stems are hollow, erect and branched. Their foliage is finely divided, the leaves being bipinnate or tripinnate, and can be purple in some cultivars. Their white or greenish flowers are very small, they are arranged in compound umbels that are 2 to 3 inches wide.

The Anthriscus genus comprises over a dozen species, some of which are considered as noxious weeds. The genus is divided into three presumably monophyletic sections, Anthriscus, Caroides and Cacosciadium which differ in habit and ecology. Generally, the main mode of speciation of the Anthriscus genus appears to be the geographic isolation of peripheral populations. Three species of the Anthriscus genus are found in North America, but only two of them are found in Québec:

The genus belongs to the Apiaceae family.


In classical Greek, ανθρυσκον (anthryskon) is referred to by Athenaeus, of Naucratis in Egypt, a Greek rhetorician and grammarian who flourished about the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd century AD. He wrote the Deipnosophistae, an immense store-house of information. The plant has been tentatively identified as Anthriscus sylvestris.

In Latin, Anthriscum is referred to by Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder), 23 AD - 70 AD (he died on August 25, AD 79 during the famed eruption of Mount Vesuvius that also destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum), he was a naturalist and naval and military commander; he refers to the plant Anthriscum in his Naturalis Historia (Natural History) (21, 89) and has been identified as some sort of plant !


Anthriscus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the Amphipyra tragopoginis (the Mouse Moth).

Anthriscus cerefolium (Garden Chervil) is a refined aromatic that tastes like a cross between Pimpinella anisum (Anise, also written Anis) and Petroselinum crispum (the Parsley). It is used in the kitchen to flavor foods.