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(Chaerophyllum), a genus of plants of the family Umbelliferae. Chervils are biennial or perennial herbs with compound-pinnate incised leaves and small, white flowers (more rarely, purple, pink, or other shades), gathered into compound umbels. About 40 species grow in Europe, Asia, and America. In America there are several species. In the USSR there are more than 20 species, mainly in the Caucasus. Tuberous chervil (Chaerophyllum bulbosum), widespread in the European USSR, has edible, thickened, tuber-like roots. In Western Europe this species is cultivated. The roots of several other species are also edible. Intoxicating chervil (C. temulum or C. temulentum), which grows in the European USSR and the Caucasus, is considered a poisonous plant. Prescott chervil, or steppe chervil (C. prescottii), which is found in the European USSR, Siberia, and Middle Asia, and tuberous chervil are biennial weeds that choke newly planted cereal grains. Measures to control them include deep plowing, trimming the roots back as far as the carrot-like part, decontaminating the seeds, and spraying plantings with herbicides.
REFERENCESGrossgeim, A. A. Rastitel’nye bogatstva Kavkaza, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1952.
Ipat’ev, A. N. Ovoshchnye rasteniia zemnogo shara. Minsk, 1966.