Does anybody know what plant this is? A mystery solved.

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With the aid of the wonderful Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, it is usually fairly easy to identify a plant that I am unfamiliar with, even if the flower is not present. hedge-06

Some years ago, I started noticing a mystery plant that was growing abundantly in spring along roadsides, clearings and other disturbed areas near forests. At first glance, it seemed to be Wild Carrot (Queen Anne’s Lace).

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However, Queen Anne’s Lace is a taller plant which grows later in the year.  My mystery plant is NOT found in Newcomb’s Guide.hedge-04

What on earth is it?

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Happily, one day I was out for a walk with a gentleman who was able to answer the question. It’s Torilis japonica   (Hedge Parsley.) hedge-01

Newcomb’s Guide was published in 1977 and it wasn’t until the 1990’s that Hedge Parsley, a European species, started being seen as frequently as it is now.

Hedge Parsley (Torilis japonica)

Hedge Parsley (Torilis japonica)

Miles Hearn

 

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