Peter Palmiotto, PhD
Department of Environmental Studies
Wild Chervil, Anthriscus sylvestris, is an herbaceous, invasive exotic plant currently experiencing a population explosion within Vermon. In order to establish baseline data on the current distribution and ecological characteristics of wild chervil in Vermont, I conducted a roadside survey of a selection of major roads, mapping wild chervil throughout the state. In addition to the roadside survey, I studied chervil's habitat requirements in Randolph, the town where it first was noted as an invasive plant in Vermont. The results of this study indicated that although not as successful in shaded as compared to more open areas, exhibiting reduced height and seed production, chervil's ability to become established in interior forests increases its threat to native communities. Because wild chervil is most often observed in roadsides and old fields, land managers tend to downplay its influence on native plant communities. It is clear from the results of my study that wild chervil is growing and reproducing in intact natural communities, and therefore threatening our native flora.