Hairy Chervil
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Hairy Chervil
A Native Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Hairy Chervil • Hindi: Khelti
Botanical name: Chaerophyllum villosum    Family: Apiaceae (Carrot family)
Synonyms: Anthriscus boissieui, Chaerophyllum reflexum

Hairy Chervil is an annual herb, 70-120 cm tall, with root spindle-shaped. Lower leaves long-stalked; leaf-stalk 2.5-7 cm, sheath velvet-hairy; blade broadly ovate in outline, 10–20 × 5–10 cm, 3-ternate-pinnate; primary pinnae 5-6 pairs, broadly deltoid-lanceshaped, 2.5–7 × 1.5–4 cm; ultimate segments ovate, small; both surfaces bristly or upper surface hairless, finely sawtoothed. Flowers are borne in umbels up to 6 cm wide; rays 2-5, 1.5-4 cm; bracteoles 2-6, linear, 1.5-4 x 1-1.5 mm, midrib prominent, margins fringed with hairs. Umbellules are 9-13-flowered, to 2 cm wide; staminate flowers 4-8 per umbellule, bisexual flowers 3-7 in each umbellule. Flower-stalks are 1-2 mm, extending up to 3-6 mm in fruit. Petals are white, pale yellow or pale bluish purple, obovate. Style shorter than stylopodium. Fruit is 7-9 x 1.5-2.5 mm, tip tapering and beaked; ribs broad. Hairy Chervil is found in forests, open grassy places, roadsides in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 2100-2800 m, from Afghanistan, to Nepal, NE India and China. Flowering: July-August.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Gulmarg, Kashmir.

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