|He's only just started|
|And the man with the high-vis jacket has his work cut out for him...(Note the clump of Photinia too btw, the subject of my last but one posting).|
Here's a link to a blog I've just discovered that issues a salutary warning to anyone rash enough to think cow parsley can be allowed in a "back-to-nature-corner" cum wildlife refuge in their cultivated garden.
|The squat, inconspicuous habit of cow parsley in Year 1 of its biennial life cycle,|
But it’s busy squirrelling away (if plants can be said to squirrel) the sugars and starches into that, er, rhizome, while making big ambitious plans for the following year.
|Come on. Make up your mind. Are you going to eat it or not?|
|One needs a keen eye to tell the difference between deadly hemlock (top) and cow parsley (bottom)|
It can create painful chemical burns to exposed skinof both people and livestock through a devious and highly antisocial defence strategy, one that involves producing chemicals that provoke an allergic photosensitivity. I guess if you are a plant with no flight mechanism, you are left with just the fight option, and a chemical armoury makes up for the lack of tooth and claw.
The get-up-and-go South Koreans are also busy extracting those promising chemicals from cow parsley.
Might some of Korea's less successful neighbours beat a path to our door and that of other nations blessed with a surfeit of cow parsley? Might a variant on what you see next become a common sight on British highways and byways (imagine cow parsley, roots especially, where you see hay or straw)? Will we be seeing eco-friendly draught animals transporting the harvest to processing plants (each animal hopefully being rewarded at its destination with a nose-bag full).
Further reading: Wild chervil - a relatively new weed problem in central Vermont
(Reminder: wild chervil is an alternative name for cow parsley)
Update: have just tweaked the title and search labels, adding a mention of the USA. The transatlantic dimension is interesting, and increasingly a matter of some concern it would seem. Here's an interesting twist to the story, gleaned from another site, quoted verbatim:
Might cow parsely/wild chervil spread beyond Vermont in years to come. Might it find soil conditions more to its liking further inland, where's there's less competition from competitor species and/or abundant fertilized prairie. Might a satellite map of the USA in 2020 maybe look a bit like this, in the month of May or June?
Update:Monday 19th May
See Michael McCarthy in the Independent: "Cow parsley: the countryside killer".
Update: Tuesday 2nd June 2015
It's now a year later, and there's been quite a few visitors these last few weeks to this posting, prompted presumably by yet another annual invasion of cow parsley. The field with the church tower in the background (see above) is again full of the stuff, so there must be plenty of odd as well as even year flowerers in the biennial mix, if you see what I mean. I was watching the cows (and bull) in that same field this afternoon. Despite its name, one gets the impression that cows studiously avoid cow parsley, preferring new grass instead.