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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.


Other names for this plant include:
  • Common names: Canada hedgeparsley, hedgeparsley
  • Scientific names: Torilis arvensis ssp. arvensis
Ecological threat:
  • Hedgeparsleys invade forests, grasslands, hedgerows, roadsides, and urban areas.
  • Pets, such as dogs and other animals appear to be spreading hedgeparsley quickly throughout the state.
 Overview map of prohibited classification in WI
Prohibited (red) counties

Classification in Wisconsin: Prohibited

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for spreading hedgeparsley was based upon this literature review [PDF] developed by the department.


First-year plant leaves: 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 that attach to clothing and fur.

Roots: Taproot.

Similar species: Japanese hedgeparsley (Torilis japonica; invasive) has 2 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 prior to flowering.

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


View spreading hedgeparsley pictures in our photo gallery!


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