Garden Chervil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Anthriscus
Species: A. cerefolium
Binomial name
Anthriscus cerefolium
(L.) Hoffm.

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) is a delicate annual herb related to parsley. Sometimes called garden chervil, it is used to season mild-flavoured dishes and is a constituent of the French herb mixture fines herbes.



A member of the Apiaceae, chervil is native to the Caucasus but was spread by the Romans through most of Europe, where it is now naturalised.[1]

The plants grow to 40–70 cm (16–28 in), with tripinnate leaves that may be curly. The small white flowers form small umbels, 2.54–5 cm (1.00–2.0 in) across. The fruit is about 1 cm long, oblong-ovoid with a slender, ridged beak.[1]

Root Chervil

Another type of chervil is grown as a root vegetable, sometimes called turnip rooted chervil or tuberous-rooted chervil. This type of chervil produces much thicker roots than types cultivated for their leaves. It was a popular vegetable in the 19th century. Now virtually forgotten in Britain and the United States, root chervil is still used in French cuisine, in soups or stews.


Culinary arts

Chervil garnishing a salad

Sometimes referred to as "gourmet's parsley", chervil is used to season poultry, seafood, and young vegetables. It is particularly popular in France, where it is added to omelettes, salads and soups. More delicate than parsley, it has a faint taste of liquorice or aniseed.[2]


Chervil is sometimes used to repel slugs.[citation needed]


Chervil had various traditional uses. It was claimed to be useful as a digestive aid, for lowering high blood pressure, and, infused with vinegar, for curing hiccups.[3] Besides its digestive properties, it is used as a mild stimulant.[2]

Chervil has also been implicated in "strimmer dermatitis" due to a phytophotodermatitis due to spray from a weed trimmer. Other plants in the family Apiaceae can have similar effects.[citation needed]


Chervil is best grown seeded in place - transplanting can be difficult, due to the long taproot.[3] It prefers a cool and moist location, otherwise it rapidly goes to seed (also known as bolting).[3] Regular harvesting of leaves also helps to prevent bolting.[3] If plants bolt despite precautions, the plant can be periodically re-sown through the growing season, thus producing fresh plants as older plants bolt and go out of production.

Chervil grows to a height of 12 to 24 inches (300 to 610 mm), and a width of 6 to 12 inches (150 to 300 mm).[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b Vaughan, J.G.; Geissler, C.A. (1997). The New Oxford Book of Food Plants. Oxford University Press. 
  2. ^ a b Gualtiero Simonetti (1990). Stanley Schuler. ed. Simon & Schuster's Guide to Herbs and Spices. Simon & Schuster, Inc. ISBN 0-671-73489-X. 
  3. ^ a b c d e McGee, Rose Marie Nichols; Stuckey, Maggie (2002). The Bountiful Container. Workman Publishing. 

Further reading

  • Howard, Michael. Traditional Folk Remedies (Century, 1987), p.118.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chervil — Cher vil, n. [AS. cerfille, fr. L. caerefolium, chaerephyllum, Gr. ?; ? to rejoice + ? leaf.] (Bot.) A plant ({Anthriscus cerefolium}) with pinnately divided aromatic leaves, of which several curled varieties are used in soups and salads. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chervil — O.E. cerfelle, from L. chaerephyllum, from Gk. khairephyllon, from khairein to rejoice (see HORTATORY (Cf. hortatory)) + phyllon leaf (see FOLIO (Cf. folio)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • chervil — ► NOUN ▪ a plant with delicate fern like leaves which are used as a culinary herb. ORIGIN Greek khairephullon …   English terms dictionary

  • chervil — [chʉr′vəl] n. [ME chervel < OE cerfelle < L chaerephyllum < Gr chairephyllon < chairein, to rejoice (see CHARISMA) + phyllon, leaf: see PHYLL] 1. an annual herb (Anthriscus cerefolium) of the umbel family, whose leaves are used for… …   English World dictionary

  • chervil — /cherr vil/, n. 1. an herb, Anthriscus cerefolium, of the parsley family, having aromatic leaves used to flavor soups, salads, etc. 2. any of several other plants of the same genus or allied genera. [bef. 900; ME chervelle, OE cerfelle < L… …   Universalium

  • chervil — daržinis builis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Salierinių šeimos prieskoninis, vaistinis augalas (Anthriscus cerefolium), paplitęs pietų Europoje ir Azijoje. Iš jo gaminami maisto priedai (kvėpikliai). atitikmenys: lot. Anthriscus… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • chervil — noun a) A leafy herb, Anthriscus cerefolium, resembling parsley. b) leaves from the plant, used as an herb in cooking, which have a mild flavour of anise. Syn: garden chervil, gourmet’s parsley …   Wiktionary

  • chervil — [[t]tʃɜ͟ː(r)vɪl[/t]] N UNCOUNT Chervil is a herb that tastes like aniseed …   English dictionary

  • chervil — builis statusas T sritis augalininkystė atitikmenys: lot. Anthriscus angl. chervil rus. купырь …   Žemės ūkio augalų selekcijos ir sėklininkystės terminų žodynas

  • chervil — noun Etymology: Middle English cherville, from Old English cerfille, from Latin caerefolium, modification of Greek *chairephyllon, from chairein to rejoice + phyllon leaf more at yearn, blade Date: before 12th century an aromatic herb (Anthriscus …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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