Cow parsley definition: a common Eurasian umbelliferous hedgerow plant, Anthriscus sylvestris, having... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples As a hopeless botanist – or plant-identifier – I like cow parsley because I usually recognise it and know what it is. Giant hogweed (Heracleum) also lacks the bracts and is distinctive because of its size. One flower key that is highly recommended is by Francis Rose, simply called The Wild Flower Key. Giant hogweed is often taller than a human, while Queen Anne's Lace is a small, flowering plant that grows from 1-4 feet tall. One of the quickest and most effective ways to differentiate between hemlock and cow parsley is by smell. She was born in north London and lived there all her life [West Dulwich, London, September 2014]. Also known as Queen Anne’s lace, it shares this common name with a number of plants. Why is Queen Anne's Lace so called . In most floras it is called Cow Parsley but around Northampton as kids we always called the plant keck (The word is dismissed by Chambers' Dictionary as a "false singular"). Parsley, Petroselinum crispum is an herbaceous biennial or perennial plant in the family Apiaceae grown for its leaves which are used as a herb. Cow Parsley has a variety of other names – like most of our plants, it seems. Cow parsley is not deadly like poison hemlock, but has an unpleasant flavor. Cow parsley is often called Devil’s parsley; its close resemblance to hemlock (a highly poisonous white flower closely linked with witchcraft) may have some bearing. My mother called cow parsley break-your-mother’s heart and wouldn’t let me bring it in the house. This adage is said to have come about because the tiny white blossoms drop quickly. 4. The problem with botanical ID is that it gives us only a piece of the puzzle when learning a plant. Mother die, queque, blackman’s tobacco. Cow parsley is often called Devil’s parsley, which may be because it has a close resemblance to hemlock (same family), which is a highly poisonous white flower closely linked with witchcraft. 3. Like sweet woodruff, cow parsley has the reputation of “breaking your mother’s heart”. Care should be taken if you are picking it & taking back to your horses that you have the right plant. There is lots of cow parsley in flower by the roadsides at the moment. Cow parsley stems are hairy (and ribbed if it’s the flower stem) and it’s quite rigid. The common name Wild Carrot was given by William Turner in 1548. In his Asylum Poems John Clare refers to "Kicksies white" and the plant has a host of other regional names. Queen Anne's Lace is an American name, but it also refers to a plant in England, cow parsley - anthriscus sylvestris. Mum would never let us have hawthorn blossom or cow parsley (we called stepmother blessing) in the house [Bradford, November 2013]. 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