Native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia. Though both of these plants produce many umbrella-shaped clusters of tiny flowers, they are valued for their fernlike foliage. In the first species, the leaves are used in cooking; in the second, the foliage brings deep, striking color to the perennial border.
A. cerefolium. CHERVIL. Annual. Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11. Low foliage mounds about a foot wide; 1- to 2-ft. flower stems topped with white blossoms in summer. The leaves have a parsleylike flavor with overtones of anise. Use like parsley, fresh or dried. Sow seeds in place in early spring (in cold-winter areas) or in fall (where winters are mild). In the following years, volunteer seedlings will keep you supplied with new plants. Goes to seed quickly in hot weather; keep flower clusters cut to encourage leafy growth. Partial shade.
A. sylvestris 'Ravenswing'. Perennial or biennial. Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7. Very attractive purple-black foliage in clump 112 ft. high, 212 ft. wide. In late spring or early summer, flowering stems to 3 ft. tall bear white blossoms with purplish pink bracts. Deadhead for best appearance and to prevent self-sowing. Full sun or light shade.