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Useful Temperate Plants

Aethusa cynapium

L.

Apiaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Fool's Parsley

Aethusa cynapium
Drawings of the plant
Photograph by: Ko?hler, F.E., Medizinal Pflanzen, vol. 3: t. 22 (1890)
Creative Commons License
Aethusa cynapium Aethusa cynapium Aethusa cynapium

General Information

Aethusa cynapium is an erect, branched annual plant that can grow from 5 - 120cm tall[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
].
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.

Known Hazards

The entire plant is poisonous though less so than Conium maculatum (q.v.)[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
10
Title
Poisonous Plants and Animals.
Publication
 
Author
Altmann. H.
Publisher
Chatto and Windus
Year
1980
ISBN
0-7011-2526-8
Description
A small book, reasonable but not very detailed.
,
19
Title
Poisonous Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Stary. F.
Publisher
Hamlyn
Year
1983
ISBN
0-600-35666-3
Description
Not very comprehensive, but easy reading.
]. Small amounts can cause pain, confusion of vision and vomiting[
268
Title
The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. M. (Editor)
Publisher
Orbis Publishing. London.
Year
1979
ISBN
0-85613-067-2
Description
Excellent herbal with good concise information on over 400 herbs.
]. The dried plant might be safe to eat[
10
Title
Poisonous Plants and Animals.
Publication
 
Author
Altmann. H.
Publisher
Chatto and Windus
Year
1980
ISBN
0-7011-2526-8
Description
A small book, reasonable but not very detailed.
].

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.

Range

Europe - Norway, south to Spain, east to Turkey and the Caucasus, and through the Russian Federation to Ciscaucasia

Habitat

Grows in waste places and is also a common weed of cultivated ground but rarer in the north of Britain[
9
Title
Edible and Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Launert. E.
Publisher
Hamlyn
Year
1981
ISBN
0-600-37216-2
Description
Covers plants in Europe. a drawing of each plant, quite a bit of interesting information.
,
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *
HabitAnnual
Height1.20 m
PollinatorsInsects
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details



All parts of the plant have an unpleasant smell reminiscent of hemlock (Conium maculatum)[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked[
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is very inadvisable to eat this plant, see the notes above on toxicity[
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
].

Medicinal

Although fairly toxic, fool's parsley has occasionally been used in folk medicine[
268
Title
The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. M. (Editor)
Publisher
Orbis Publishing. London.
Year
1979
ISBN
0-85613-067-2
Description
Excellent herbal with good concise information on over 400 herbs.
]. The herb is sedative and stomachic. It has been used in the treatment of gastro-intestinal problems, especially in children, and also to treat convulsions and summer diarrhoea[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
268
Title
The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. M. (Editor)
Publisher
Orbis Publishing. London.
Year
1979
ISBN
0-85613-067-2
Description
Excellent herbal with good concise information on over 400 herbs.
].
Extreme caution in the use of this herb is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

The plant is used in homoeopathy. The characteristic symptoms relate mainly to the brain and nervous system, connected with gastro-intestinal disturbance. It is used especially for young children during teething or when, particularly during summer, there is diarrhoea, a marked inability to digest milk, and poor circulation[
1052
Title
Homeopathic Materia Medica
Publication
 
Author
William Boericke, M.D.
Website
http://www.homeoint.org/books/boericmm/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the book
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - we have no details on this species but suggest sowing the seed in situ as soon as it is ripe or in spring.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-07-22. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Aethusa+cynapium>

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