Chaerophyllum bulbosum Linn. Umbelliferae. Parsnip Chervil. Turnip-Rooted Chervil.
Europe and Asia Minor. In Bavaria, this vegetable is found growing wild but is said to have been first introduced from Siberia. Burnett alludes to it as deleterious, but Haller affirms that the Kalmucks eat the roots with their fish and commend them as a nutritive and agreeable food. Booth says it is a native of France and, although known to British gardeners since its introduction in 1726, it is only within the last few years that attention has been directed to its culture as an esculent vegetable. In size and shape, the root attains the dimensions of a small Dutch carrot. It is outwardly of a grey color, but when cut the flesh is white, mealy and by no means unpleasant to the taste. F. Webster, consul at Munich, Bavaria, in 1864, sent some seed to this country and says: "The great value of this vegetable, as an acquisition to an American gardener, is not only its deliciousness to the epicure but the earliness of its maturity, fully supplying the place of potatoes." The seed is now offered in our seed catalogs. The wild plant is described by Camerarius, 1588 and by Clusius, 1601, and is also named by Bauhin, 1623. As a cultivated plant, it seems to have been first noted about 1855, when the root is described as seldom so large as a hazelnut, while in 1861 it had attained the size and shape of the French round carrot. This chervil appeared in American seed catalogs in 1884, or earlier, and was described by Burr for American gardens in 1863. It was known in England in 1726 but was not under culture.
Chaerophyllum tuberosum Royle.
In the Himalayas, the tuberous roots are eaten and are called sham.
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.