(Scandix Cerefolium, Linn.), a southern Europe annual, with
stems about 18 inches tall and bearing few divided leaves composed of
oval, much-cut leaflets. The small white flowers, borne in umbels, are
followed by long, pointed, black seeds with a conspicuous furrow from
end to end. These seeds, which retain their germinability about three
years, but are rather difficult to keep, may be sown where the plants
are to stay
at any season, about eight weeks before a crop is desired;
cultivation is like that of parsley. During summer and in warm climates,
cool, shady situations should be chosen, otherwise any situation and
soil are suitable. The leaves, which are highly aromatic, are used,
especially in France and England, for seasoning and for mixed salads.
Chervil is rarely used alone, but is the chief ingredient in what the
French call fines herbes, a mixture which finds its way into a host of
culinary concoctions. The best variety is the Curled, which, though it
has the same flavor as the plain, is a prettier garnish.