How To Distinguish Chervil From Parsley?

Chervil and parsley – They both belong to the umbelliferae plant family. They are both very similar in appearance. And yet there are plenty of differences that separate them. Confusion was yesterday!

Kerbel Petersilie

Imagine you are standing at a market stall with numerous herbs. You need chervil and you are too proud to ask the seller. Now there are two herbs that could be chervil….

Chervil you can easily distinguish from the smooth parsley by smell. To do this, take a leaf and rub it with your fingers. Chervil has an anise-like to fennel-like and slightly sweet smell. Parsley smells spicy and peppery.

The taste test
A clear difference between chervil and parsley becomes apparent at the latest when it comes to taste. Chervil tastes sweet and, like its smell, is reminiscent of anise. The taste of parsley is distinctive and discreetly pungent.

An eye for detail: the leaves
If you don’t dare crush or taste the leaves, take a closer look. The leaves of chervil are fern-like and more filigree and finely toothed than those of parsley.

The flowers and seeds in comparison

If you grow chervil and parsley in your own garden, you will be able to enjoy the flowers, if you do not cut the herbs in the summer. Here, other differences between parsley and chervil become apparent.

Both are umbelliferous plants. The flowers of parsley are yellowish. In contrast, the flowers of chervil are pure white. The petals of chervil resemble small hearts and are not connected. The single flowers of parsley look much smaller and more inconspicuous. When sowing they will be able to make out the following characteristics:

  • Chervil: black, elongated, exceedingly narrow.
  • Parsley: brownish, small, crescent-shaped
  • Similarities between the two herbs
  • Parsley, like chervil, prefers to grow in an off-sun location . Both herbs are ideal for dishes such as:
  • Vegetable dishes
  • Soups and stews
  • Eggs
  • Poultry
  • potatoes
  • Fish
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Tips & Tricks
If you grow chervil and also want to grow parsley, you should keep in mind that chervil does not like to share its territory with other plants. A generous planting distance is therefore significant.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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