Chervil (French Parsley)Like parsley, the feathered leaves of Winter Chervil have a mild, sweet, aniseed flavor and are prevalent in cooking, in salads, and as a delicate side dish. Enjoyed fresh leaves as they lose their flavor when dried.
Winter chervil is a close relative of parsley, growing in the south of Russia. Its delicate flavor, similar to tarragon or fennel, has made it extremely popular with herbs. As a result, chervil takes pride of place in every chef's kitchen, especially in France. This soft herb is the main ingredient in a famous blend of French herbs known as "fines herbs" and is also used to season the classic bearnaise sauce. Historically, it has been used as a mild tonic or stimulant and a purported remedy for hiccups.
How to Grow Chervil (French Parsley) from seeds:
- Sowing: Chervil grows well in the open sun or partial shade and on light damp soil, loves coolness. It does not tolerate transplantation, so direct seeding remains the best option. Direct sowing is recommended three weeks before the last spring frost for summer crops. After the summer heat for autumn crops. Sow seeds to the soil's surface in rows 12-18 inches apart, thinning to 9-12 inches as soon as they emerge. Chervil germinates within 14 days. Plant a new crop every two weeks until the summer heat for a steady supply of fresh leaves. Winter chervil adapts well to negative temperatures with some protection and grows well as a container plant
- Plant Spacing: 12-18″.
- Growing of Chervil (French Parsley): Keep the soil evenly moist to prevent the leaves from getting wet. Prune the plant often to get a more extended harvest and prevent seed germination.
- Chervil (French Parsley) Soil Requirements for: Grows best in rich, moist soil.
- Chervil (French Parsley) Seeds Days to Germination: 14 days.
- Light Preference of Chervil (French Parsley): Full Sun/Part Shade.
- Life Cycle of Chervil (French Parsley): Annual.
- How and When to Harvest Chervil (French Parsley): Collect the leaves as needed, collecting the outer leaves first. Although the flowers are edible, due to their development, the leaves become bitter. Fresh chervil is best added to hot food at the last minute to preserve its flavor. The leaves are stored in the refrigerator for two to three days; drying or freezing is not recommended, as the delicate taste will soon be lost.
- Chervil (French Parsley) Days to Maturity: 60 Days.
- Chervil's (French Parsley) Seed Saving: Collect the seed heads individually as soon as they begin to dry on the stem. Horses break easily so be sure to check them. Spread the heads out to dry in a place protected from direct sunlight; thresh them. Store seeds in a cool dry place; for better germination, use the seeds in the next growing season.
- Common Names: Chervil, French Parsley
- Latin Name: Anthriscus cerefolium
- Species Origin: Caucasus Mountains
- Life Cycle: Annual
- USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
- Seeds per Ounce: 2,000
- Sunlight: Full Sun
- Height: 20 Inches
- Color: Green
- Bloom Season: Blooms Late Summer, Blooms Early Fall
- Uses: Culinary, Aromatic