• Cow parsley | Anthriscus sylvestris

    Posted on May 24, 2015 by in Outings, Wildflowers

    ┬áIt’s been a while…

    …as the power ballad goes…but I’ve still been out and about in the Sussex countryside photographing wildflowers!

    May is Cow Parsley time

    We often find round here that greenish-yellow alexanders and deep blue alkanet are in flower at the beginning of the month, with cow parsley filling in towards the end. So in the last few days, I have been enjoying the best of both worlds in the hedgerows! Cow parsley is also known as Queen Anne’s lace due to it’s delicate looking blooms.

    cow parsley anthriscus sylvestris seaford alkanet

    Cow parsley on my walking route in Seaford mixed with blue alkanet flowers

    The mixture of cow parsley and alexanders below was spotted on a lunch outing to the Sussex Ox pub. For more about alexanders, including cooking this wild herb, visit the Garden Post – the blog of Herb Society magazine editor Barbara Segall.

    cow parsley anthriscus sylvestris alfriston alexanders

    Cow parsley near Alfriston Sussex mixed with chartreuse Alexanders

    cow parsley queen annes lace country lane alexanders

    Cow parsley and Alexanders in a country lane

    The photo below, I think, sums up why I like living in Seaford!

    queen annes lace anthriscus sylvestris road sign

    Cow parsley aka Queen Anne’s lace obscuring road sign

    The cow parsley controversy

    In writing this post I came across this article by Michael McCarthy in the Independent last year in which he claimed that the flower is taking over the hedgerows at the expense of other species. He has clearly done his homework, quoting the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and the Botanical Society of Britain. However I tend to notice that after flowering, the verges near us are strimmed down, giving other species a chance to shine.

    Try pressing cow parsley

    If you enjoy floral crafts, why not try pressing some flowers of cow parsley? It’s designerly umbels are highly fashionable at present. Use them to decorate a greetings card or simply frame against a dark background. Visit my other blog for more dried flower craft ideas, or these pressed flowers are available seasonally from my shop.