Common names: Tuberous-rooted chervil, bulbous chervil, parsnip chervil, turnip-rooted chervil.
Chaerophyllum bulbosum is a biennial growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
It is hardy to zone 6. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. Edible Parts: Root, Stem.
Root – raw or cooked. The raw root is rather tough, but has a nice, aromatic, starchy flavour. When cooked it becomes floury and sweet with a peculiar flavour that is excellent and unlike any other vegetable. Peeling the roots ruins the flavour. The root is about the size of a small carrot. It can be harvested when the foliage dies down, usually in July/August from an autumn sowing, and stored like potatoes for later use. It is best harvested as required. The roots contain about 20% starch and 4% protein. Young stems – raw or cooked.
- The seeds require stratification before you sow them.
- Soak two cup of potting soil (roughly) in room temperature water.
- Squeeze the soil to eliminate excess moisture and put it in about a one quart, resealable plastic bag or container.
- Add your seeds and mix thoroughly.
- Put the container somewhere warm (about 70° F/ 21C) for two weeks.
- Put the container in the refrigerator for at least four weeks. Eight is better and twelve is best.
- After that, the seed is ready to sow. Just scatter the seed and potting soil mix on the ground and then rake in lightly. Germination tricks used with carrots, parsnips, and parsley can all be helpful. Thin to at most one plant per four inches (10 cm) of row.