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Upright Hedge-parsley - Torilis japonica
Family - Apiaceae
Also known as - Scabby head, Japanese hedge parsley

Japanese Hedge-parsley is a member of the Carrot family that can be an annual or biennial plant depending on the geographical location, it is native to the U.K, Europe, Asia and considered an invasive species in North America.  It can be found in a range of habitats including open woodland margins, hedgerows, rough open grassland or pasture, roadside verges and disturbed areas.

Alternate pinnately divided grey green leaves on thin stems have a fern like appearance.  Of the three common Apiaceae found in the UK's environment, Cow Parsley, Rough chervil - Chaerophyllum temulum and Upright Hedge-parsley, the latter is the latest to flower, from July through to September.  Self-fertile flower heads are seen in the plants second year as umbels of simple open white flowers of five petals and five stamens that alternate with the petals, attract a large range of pollinating insects particularly hoverflies and small beetles.  The fruits, which mature from September onwards, are a purplish brown and covered in hooks, typically growing to between 61cm and 1.25M (2-4ft) tall during its second year of growth.

FBCP do not advise or recommend that Upright Hedge-parsley - Torilis japonica is eaten or used as a herbal remedy.   It has been known for its medicinal uses in Chinese traditional medicine for treating hemorrhoids and dysentery, and recently has been considered a potential anti-cancer drug source from a terpene extracted from its fruits.

Upright Hedge-parsley - Torilis japonica, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse
Photo ©2007 Fabelfroh
Upright Hedge-parsley - Torilis japonica, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse
Photo ©2007 Fabelfroh
Upright Hedge-parsley - Torilis japonica, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse
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