Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


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Spreading Hedge Parsley

Spreading Hedge Parsley

Spreading Hedge Parsley
(Torilis arvensis)


Hedge parsleys are parsley-like annuals with taproots and erect, ridged stems. They grow in a spreading form up to 3 feet in height. Leaves are alternate, pinnately divided, 2 to 5 inches long and may be slightly downy. Small, white flowers are clustered in small, open, flat-topped umbels. Japanese hedge-parsley has 2 or more pointed bracts at the base of each umbel, whereas spreading hedge-parsley lacks such bracts. The small fruiting structure is covered in velcro-like hairs which attach to clothing and fur, readily dispersing the seed.

See also Japanese hedge parsley. Queen Anne's lace or wild carrot (Daucus carota) - a widespread weed in Wisconsin -- has similar finely-divided leaves, but leaves and stems are quite hairy. It also has larger flat-topped flower umbels, with densely packed white flowers. When crushed, it smells like carrots. Other look-alikes for spreading hedge parsley include wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris), caraway (Carum carvi), poison hemlock (Conium maculatum), Chinese hemlock parsley (Conioselinum chinense), and sweet cicely (Osmorhiza).


In Wisconsin, Japanese hedge-parsley has been found in Dane, Manitowoc, Rock and Walworth counties. Spreading hedge-parsley is not currently known in Wisconsin, but nationally is more common than japonica. Habitat includes disturbed upland sites such as roadsides, urban areas, railroad rights-of-way and woodlands.


Pull or mow prior to flowering. Treating foliage with glyphosate or triclopyr is effective if done early in the spring or on resprouts after cutting. Monitor site for additional seedlings.