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October 2012
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Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) is a delicate annual herb.

Images of Garden Chervil at

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) is often called garden chervil.

Overview of Garden Chervil

• It is a delicate annual herb related to parsley.
• It is commonly used to season mild-flavored dishes and is a constituent of the French herb mixture.
• 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).
• The plants has tripinnate leaves that may be curly.
• The small white flowers form small umbels, 2.54–5 cm (1.00–2.0 in).
• The fruit is about 1 cm long, oblong-ovoid with a slender, ridged beak.
• 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.
• Chervil is used for garnishing salads.
• It is 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.
• Chervil is sometimes used to repel slugs.
• Chervil has 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.
• Besides its digestive properties, it is used as a mild stimulant.

Growing/Caring conditions of Garden Chervil

• Obtain seeds or a seedling.
• Chervil readily self-seeds.
• You may be able to get fresh seeds from someone already growing chervil.
• While it is possible to buy as a seedling, be aware that chervil does not transplant well.
• It may be best left growing in its container.
• Select a suitable area of the garden.
• Chervil likes a good loam that is fairly rich.
• Choose an area of light or dappled shade, or place under plants that can provide it with protection.
• The soil should drain well but stay moist.
• Chervil is a great container plant too.
• Choose a pot, window box, trough, or similar.
• It will grow happily indoors if desired.
• Sow the seeds early to late spring (summer use) or late summer (autumn use).
• Simply sow shallowly and barely cover. Keep moist to enable germination.
• Thin out seedlings.
• Once the seedlings start to grow, thin out to about 25cm (10″) apart.
• Keep well watered at all times.
• It loves being kept moist.
• Fertilize.
• An occasional soluble, nitrogen-rich fertilizer will help it to grow more leaves.
• Chervil has many culinary uses.
• Chervil has a long cropping period.
• Harvest the leaves from about 6 to 8 weeks after planting.
• Use the leaves as soon as possible because they lose their flavor quickly.

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