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Spreading hedgeparsley

(Torilis arvensis)

Photo of spreading hedgeparsley
Photo credit: Elizabeth J. Czarapata

Herbaceous biennial in the carrot family. Flowering plants have erect, ridged, branched stems and grow 2-6’ tall.

 Overview map of prohibited classification in WI
Prohibited (red) counties

Other names for this plant include:

  • Common names: Canada hedge parsley, hedge parsley
  • Scientific names: Torilis arvensis ssp. arvensis

Classification in Wisconsin: Prohibited

Ecological Threat
  • Hedgeparsleys invade forests, grasslands, hedgerows, roadsides, and urban areas.
  • Pets, such as dogs and other animals, appear to be spreading hedge parsley quickly throughout the state.

First-year plant leaves are Low, parsley-like rosettes that stay green until late fall.

Second-year plant leaves: Leaves are alternate, compound, fern-like, 2-5 inches long and slightly hairy.

Flowers: Flowers are tiny, white and grow in small, loose, flat-topped umbels without bracts at the base. Plants bloom July-August.

Fruits & seeds: Small seeds are covered in hooked hairs attached to clothing and fur.

Roots: Taproot.

Similar species: Japanese hedge parsley (Torilis japonica; invasive) has two or more pointed bracts at the base of each umbel. Otherwise the two plants are very much the same. In general, there are many white-flowered look-alikes in the parsley family. One example is Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota; non-native), a widespread weed in Wisconsin, with similar fern-like leaves, but leaves and stems are hairy. When crushed, it smells like carrots. Other look-alikes include wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris; invasive), caraway (Carum carvi; non-native), poison hemlock (Conium maculatum; invasive), and Chinese hemlock parsley (Conioselinum chinense; native). The native sweet cicely (Osmorhiza spp.) may also be mistaken for the hedge parsley.


Mechanical: Pull or mow before flowering.

Chemical: Treat foliage with glyphosate, triclopyr or metsulfron-methyl in early spring or on plants that are resprouting after being cut.

Sources for content:
  • Czarapata, Elizabeth; Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: an illustrated guide to their identification and control. The University of Wisconsin Press. 2005. Pg. 140
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