This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
A term applied to two umbelliferous plants that produce edible parts, neither of which is well known in America. The name is sometimes applied, also, to the sweet cicely.
Salad chervil or leaf chervil is Anthriscus Cerefolium, Hoffm., a native of Caucasus, southern Russia and western Asia. It is annual, reaching 1 1/2 to 2 feet high. The neat and aromatic leaves are used like parsley, which they much resemble. The leaves are decompound, with oval cut leaflets; and there are varieties with much cut and curled foliage. The cultivation of salad chervil presents no difficulties. Leaves are ready to use in six to ten weeks from seed-sowing, and any good garden soil is congenial. It thrives best in the cooler and moister part of the year. In hot weather, seeds would better be sown in a shaded place.
Tuberous or turnip-rooted chervil is Chaerophyllum bulbosum, Linn., of southern Europe. (See Chaerophyl-lum.) It is biennial or plur-annual, like the radish and carrot. The roots are like small carrots in shape (4 to 5 inches long), but are gray or blackish, and the flesh is yellowish white and of different flavor. The roots are eaten as carrots are, either boiled or in stews. The one difficulty in the growing of tuberous chervil is the fact that the seeds germinate very tardily, or even not at all, if kept dry over winter. It is customary, therefore, to sow them in the fall, although they do not germinate until spring. If they are to be reserved for spring-growing, they should be stratified (see Seedage) or kept in sand. In four or five months after germination, the roots are fit to use, although they improve in quality by being left in the ground. The roots keep well in winter. l. H. B.