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Anthriscus sylvestris



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Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’

Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ is one of the most exquisite of contrast plants.
With mounds of chocolate-black fine ferny foliage, topped by clouds of fine misty flowers.
It is simply delectable when planted under red or white roses but it makes a beautiful, lacy setting for flowers of any colour.
So feature ‘Ravenswing’ in a pot, or use as a colour contrast in beds of any colour, where that wonderful dark foliage will really pop.
And it also happily supplies armloads of lacy white flowers for vases.

Chic garden design

Certainly ‘Ravenswing’ is the darling of chic garden designers today because of the combination of airy grace with tough, reliable hardiness.

Hardy & reliable

Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ can be planted in either Full Sun to 1/2 Shade, as well as Dappled Shade/Sun and Woodland conditions.
But wherever you put it, it makes a neat, thick ever-black cushion of those lovely ferny leaves because it is so hardy and easy growing.
Certainly it looks stunning planted in swathes under trees and shrubs, as well as basking in sun amongst the roses.
And you will always have some new baby “ravens” to plant in graceful drifts or share with friends because it gently self-sows baby seedlings.

Easy care & water-wise

‘Ravenswing’ is hardy, easy to grow, and requires very little maintenance, despite that delicate appearance.
As it is actually a tough and frost hardy perennial.
It is also water-wise requiring only average garden watering.
So it can tolerate periods of dry reasonably well particularly if given some summer shade.


Anthriscus seed can be sown at any time.

Sow seed onto the surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Then barely cover with river sand or sieved mix to the same as the seeds own diameter.

Make sure the seed tray is thoroughly moist through by soaking it in water bath and allowing the moisture to percolate to the surface from below.

You can now place the moist, sown punnet in a well lit position (not in direct sun).
Keep moist and allow nature to take it’s course.

Temperatures of 15-20C are best for optimum and most rapid germination.

To ensure faster germination, wrap the moist, sown punnet in glad-wrap or a plastic bag and place in the fridge (not freezer) for 4 weeks.

Then place in the well-lit position.
Temperatures of 15-20C are best for optimum and most rapid germination.

If sown directly into ground seed may not germinate until it dormancy is broken by a period of chilling. (Winter) Transplant seedlings quickly into deeper pots or directly into garden. As they have a long tap root which can be damaged when transplanted.

SEED COUNT: 10 seeds per pack approx.
(We always aim to exceed the stated seed count, and give a generous serve).

Growing: Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’

Height with flowers: Clouds of lacy flowers make a white mist to 45cm approx. during spring and summer, While the chocolate-black foliage forms a mound to approx. 25cm all year round.
Width: Foliage mound is approx. 45cm diameter.
Position: Can be planted in Full Sun to 1/2 Shade, Dappled Shade and Woodland conditions, because it is so very adaptable.
Soil: Very unfussy, as it will tolerate a wide range of soils from sandy to clay, acid pH to lime alkaline soils. The only thing it cannot abide is being waterlogged.
Frost: Can take frosts to at least -10C in its stride.
Growth: Evergreen (actually ever chocolate-black) perennial which gently self-sows.

Other benefits:

– Beneficial for wildlife: Bees, butterflies, and other useful pollinating insects find paradise amongst the clouds of nectar rich flowers.
– Care: No fuss, because it is such easy care, low maintenance. So the only work required is to cut spent flower stems (unless you have already harvested them for cut flowers).
Deer & Rabbit resistant:
Origin: Anthriscus grows in hedgerows, woodlands and grassy meadows across widespread areas of Europe and North West Africa. Such diverse habitats testifies to the plant’s hardy and adaptable nature.
Wealth of Common Names: Anthriscus has acquired a wealth of common names over many centuries.
So it is also known as “Queen Anne’s Lace”, “Gypsy Lace”, “Lady’s Needlework” and “Cow Parsley” .  Plus “Keck”, “Fairy Lace”, “Spanish Lace”, “Grandpa’s Pepper” and “Badman’s Oatmeal”.  As well as “Mother Die” (oh dear! – but it is definitely not poisonous!)

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