A hardy biennial plant, from the south of Europe. The root is fusiform, four or five inches long, and nearly an inch and a half in diameter; skin, grayish-black; flesh, white. The leaves are compound, the leaflets deeply cut, and the divisions of the upper leaves narrow and slender. The flowers are white, and terminate the top of the plant in umbels, or large, circular, flat, spreading bunches. The seeds are long, pointed, furrowed, concave on one side, of a brownish color, and retain their power of germination but one year. An ounce contains sixty-five hundred seeds.
Soil and Cultivation. --The seeds may be sown in drills, in October or April, in the manner of sowing the seeds of the common carrot; preference to be given to rich, mellow soil. The roots will attain their full size by the following August or September, when they should be harvested. With a little care to prevent sprouting, they may be preserved until April.
Seed. --The roots intended for seed should be set in the open ground in autumn or in spring. The seeds will ripen in August, and should be sown within a month or two of the time of ripening, or, if kept till spring, should be packed in earth or sand; for, when these precautions are neglected, they will often remain dormant in the ground throughout the year.
30 ESCULENT ROOTS.
Use. --The Tuberous-rooted Chervil promises to be a valuable esculent root. M. Vilmorin considered it worthy to be classed with the potato, though not equally productive. On his authority, upwards of six tons have been produced on an acre; an amount which he states may be greatly increased by a judicious selection of the best roots for seed.
The roots, which are eaten boiled, are nearly of the size and form of an Early Horn Carrot. The flesh is white, farinaceous, and of a flavor intermediate between that of a chestnut and a potato.