Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ (Cow Parsley) [25 Seeds]


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. Always remove any all-green seedlings.

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Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris), also known as wild chervil, is a perennial that grows in clumps of lacy leaves. Upright, loosely branched stems carry airy heads of tiny white flowers in late spring to early summer. ‘Ravenswing’ is a seed strain that produces plants with dark foliage, ranging from deep purple to purple-brown to almost black. The plants reach 2 to 3 feet tall in flower (about 1 foot tall in leaf). They can tolerate full sun but typically prefer morning sun and afternoon shade or light all-day shade; evenly moist, fertile soil is a plus. ‘Ravenswing’ cow parsley is generally rated for USDA Hardiness Zones 3 or 4 to 9.

I have seen ‘Ravenswing’ reseed heavily in gardens here in southeastern Pennsylvania where it is not supervised (deadheaded after flowering). 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 in late June 2020. Each packet contains at least 25 seeds.


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