Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Golden Fleece’ (Cow Parsley) [15 Seeds]

$4.50

Germination Information: I recommend these seeds for experienced seed-sowers only, because they require some patience. They need a period of chilling, which is easiest to provide by surface-sowing fresh seeds outdoors in June through January; the seedlings should then appear when conditions are right in spring. Cow parsley seedlings are somewhat fragile and easily damaged during transplanting, so it’s best to sow in prepared soil right in your garden. Or, spread the seeds out over several pots (I use three seeds per 3″ pot) and carefully transplant each grouping of seedlings to the garden when they are an inch or two tall.

Once you get the plants to bloom in your garden, they are likely to self-sow for future years. I recommend leaving one or two of the flowerheads to set and drop seed after flowering (remove the rest unless you plan to collect seeds for sharing), so you always have a few replacement plants coming along. In my experience, the self-sown plants are much more vigorous than those I sow.

 

 

 

 

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Description

‘Golden Fleece’ cow parsley or wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Golden Fleece’) produces eye-catching clumps of deeply cut, bright yellow foliage, with lacy white flower clusters in late spring to early summer atop 2- to 3-foot-tall, branching stems. Honestly, I like this strain much better for its ferny foliage than the flowers, because–in my garden, at least–the bloom stems seem to be a bit leggy and aren’t nearly as abundant as they are on ‘Ravenswing’. Sites with relatively moist, fertile soil and morning sun and midday or afternoon shade, or all-day light shade, seem to suit the plants best. Cow parsley usually acts like a perennial; Zones 3 to 8.

I have seen ‘Ravenswing’, the dark-leaved counterpart of this beauty, reseed heavily in gardens here in southeastern Pennsylvania where it is not supervised. I’ve been growing ‘Golden Fleece’ for only a few years and gather practically all of the seeds, so I haven’t found many unwanted volunteers here, but I image it could sow just as readily if given the opportunity. (I very much recommend cutting off the flowering stems once the blooms fade, as that will prevent self-sowing and can encourage a flush of bright new leaves too.)

Be aware that the species Anthriscus sylvestris is considered to be invasive in some areas. For more information, see the plant’s information page at The Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States.

I collected these seeds (only a small quantity) in late June 2020. Each packet contains at least 15 seeds.

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