Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
cow parsley 'Ravenswing'


Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing', also known as cow parsley, features a striking appearance with its dark, almost black, finely divided, fern-like foliage which creates a dramatic contrast in the garden. The leaves are delicate and airy, offering a unique texture. In spring to early summer, this elegant plant produces small, flat-topped clusters of tiny, creamy-white flowers that appear to float above the dark foliage on slender stems, resembling a misty froth. The combination of the dark leaves and the light, lacy flowers presents a beautiful play of colors and forms. The overall impression is of a gothic and romantic accent plant that can stand out strikingly among green-leaved companions or add depth to a darker, moody planting scheme.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Wild Chervil, Cow Parsley, Queen Anne's Lace, Ravenswing.

    • Common names

      Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Cow Parsley 'Ravenswing' is generally not considered toxic to humans. However, it is important to note that Cow Parsley belongs to the Apiaceae family, which contains several plants that are highly toxic and can be easily confused with Cow Parsley, such as poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) and fool's parsley (Aethusa cynapium). If someone mistakenly ingests a toxic relative believing it to be Cow Parsley, they could be poisoned, showing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, respiratory difficulty, and in severe cases, it could lead to central nervous system effects, weakness, seizures, and potentially death. Therefore, it is crucial to positively identify Cow Parsley before any potential ingestion and exercise caution due to its similarity to these dangerous relatives.

    • To pets

      Cow Parsley 'Ravenswing' is not known to be toxic to pets. However, the same caution applies as with humans. The plant belongs to a family with several toxic relatives that can easily be mistaken for Cow Parsley, including poison hemlock and fool's parsley. If a pet ingests one of these toxic look-alikes, they could exhibit symptoms such as drooling, difficulty breathing, muscular weakness, convulsions, and in severe cases, may result in death. Pet owners should ensure correct identification of Cow Parsley and prevent pets from consuming wild plants due to the risks associated with these toxic relatives.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves

      Dark purple

    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet (0.91 meters)

    • Spread

      1.5 feet (0.46 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing', commonly known as Cow Parsley, has purple-flushed, lacy foliage and delicate white flowers that add aesthetic value to gardens and landscapes.
    • Attracts Wildlife: The flowers provide nectar for beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, supporting biodiversity.
    • Easy to Grow: Cow Parsley is known for being low maintenance, requiring minimal care once established in appropriate growing conditions.
    • Shade Tolerance: This plant can thrive in partially shaded areas where other plants might struggle, offering design flexibility for gardeners.
    • Naturalization: It can spread and create natural drifts in a garden setting, which can give a wild and organic feel to the landscape.
    • Seasonal Interest: The dark foliage remains attractive from spring until fall, providing extended seasonal interest in the garden.
    • Herbaceous Perennial: As a perennial, it returns each year, reducing the need for annual replanting.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it can tolerate periods of dry weather, making it a good choice for xeriscaping and low-water gardens.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photography Prop: The dark, feathery foliage of Ravenswing creates strong visual contrast in garden photography and can enhance the depth and texture in a photo.
    • Natural Dye: The plant can be used to derive a natural dye for fabric, providing a subtle greenish coloration.
    • Garden Planning and Design: The unique dark foliage can be an important factor in garden design, providing a dark backdrop that helps lighter-colored plants stand out.
    • Floral Arrangements: Stems of Ravenswing can be included in floral arrangements for a touch of dramatic foliage.
    • Culinary Garnish: While not widely known for its edibility, the delicate leaves can provide an attractive and edible garnish for dishes that accommodate its flavor profile.
    • Plant Companion: The plant can serve as a good companion plant for various vegetables in the garden by creating a contrasting foliage that may deter some pests.
    • Insect Habitat: Ravenswing can provide a habitat for beneficial insects such as lacewings and ladybugs that contribute to pest control.
    • Educational Tool: It can be used as a learning tool to teach students or gardening enthusiasts about plant genetics and the inheritance of traits like leaf color.
    • Seasonal Decorations: Its striking leaves and umbel-shaped flowers can be dried and used in autumn-themed décor and craft projects.
    • Privacy Screens: When planted in masses, the dense foliage can offer a degree of privacy in gardens or on patios.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Queen Anne's lace is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Queen Anne's lace is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Mystery: With its dark, near-black foliage, 'Ravenswing' can symbolize the unknown and enigmatic aspects of nature, invoking a sense of curiosity and the mysterious.
    • Elegance: The delicate and fine-textured leaves of the Cow Parsley reflect a gracefulness that can represent sophistication and an appreciation for the finer things in life.
    • Connection to Nature: As a wild plant, Cow Parsley often symbolizes a deep connection to wild, untamed natural landscapes and the organic patterns of life.
    • Protection: In some contexts, Cow Parsley may be regarded as a symbol of protection due to its prolific nature and the way it quickly colonizes its environment, providing shelter to smaller species.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not needed
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Cow parsley 'Ravenswing' prefers consistent moisture but should not be overwatered. Watering should be done when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, which typically means about once a week depending on climate conditions. It's best to water deeply and infrequently rather than little and often, aiming for about 1 to 1.5 gallons per watering session for an established plant. During particularly hot or dry spells, you may need to water more frequently to maintain soil moisture. It is less drought-tolerant than some other plants, so monitor the soil moisture level regularly.

  • sunLight

    Cow parsley 'Ravenswing' thrives in full sun to partial shade conditions. It is best positioned in a spot where it can receive morning sunlight and dappled shade in the afternoon, especially in hotter climates. Avoid deep shade as it can lead to leggy growth and fewer flowers.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Cow parsley 'Ravenswing' can tolerate a range of temperatures, doing well in conditions as low as 25°F and as high as 80°F. The ideal temperature for this plant is between 60°F and 75°F. It is hardy and can survive a frost but prolonged exposure to temperatures below the freezing point may harm the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Cow parsley 'Ravenswing' should be pruned to remove spent flower stems and promote a second bloom. Pruning can also help maintain an attractive shape and encourage denser growth. The best time for pruning is immediately after the first flowering, typically in late spring or early summer. Deadheading, or removing faded flowers, can be done as needed to keep the plant looking tidy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Cow parsley 'Ravenswing' thrives best in well-draining, fertile soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. A mix of two-thirds garden loam and one-third organic compost or well-rotted manure will provide an appropriate balance of drainage and fertility. Mulching with organic material also helps maintain soil moisture and health.

  • plantRepotting

    Cow parsley 'Ravenswing' does not generally require frequent repotting as it is primarily grown as a biennial or short-lived perennial. Repot only when the plant has outgrown its current container, which is generally every two to three years, to refresh the soil and provide more room for growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Cow parsley 'Ravenswing' is adaptable to a wide range of humidity conditions and typically thrives in the natural outdoor humidity. It does not have any specific humidity requirements for successful growth.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and keep soil consistently moist.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, ensure moist, fertile soil for best growth.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing', commonly known as Cow Parsley 'Ravenswing', begins its life cycle as a seed, which germinates in spring when soil temperatures and moisture conditions are suitable. The seedling emerges and develops a rosette of lacy, dark purple to blackish foliage which undergoes vegetative growth. As the plant matures, it sends up tall, hollow stems and produces umbels of small, pinkish-white flowers typically in late spring to early summer, attracting a range of pollinators. After pollination, flowers develop into small, two-seeded dry fruits known as schizocarps. The plant dies back and goes into dormancy post seed production, often reseeding itself for the next generation. With the onset of colder weather in autumn or winter, the biennial or short-lived perennial nature of Cow Parsley 'Ravenswing' concludes its life cycle as the plant withers, but not before potentially establishing new plants for the following season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method for propagating Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing', commonly known as wild chervil or queen Anne's lace, is through seed. The best time for sowing seeds is in fall or early spring as the plant prefers a period of cold stratification to break dormancy. To propagate, collect seeds from mature plants after they have turned brown and dried. Sow the seeds directly into a well-draining soil, barely covering them, as they need light for germination. Keep the soil evenly moist until germination, which typically occurs within a couple of weeks to a month. Once seedlings are large enough to handle, they can be transplanted to their final growing locations, ensuring a spacing of about 18 inches (approximately 45 centimeters) between plants to allow for full growth and air circulation.