Torilis arvensis/Torilis japonica (Hedge Parsley)-Which One Do You Have?

Torilis arvensis (Common Hedge Parsley, ETC.) on 8-20-19, #615-22.

Common Hedge Parsley, Spreading Hedge Parsley, Field Hedge Parsley, Tall Sock-Destroyer

Torilis arvensis

TOR-il-iss  ar-VEN-sis


Japanese Hedge Parsley, Upright Hedge Parsley, Erect Hedge Parsley

Torilis japonica

TOR-il-iss  juh-PON-ih-kuh

Synonyms of Torilis arvensis (2) (Updated on 11-11-22 from Plants of the World Online): Anthriscus arvensis (Huds.) Koso-Pol., Caucalis arvensis Huds.
Synonyms of Torilis arvensis subsp. arvensis (27) (Updated on 11-11-22 from Plants of the World Online):  Caucalis aglochis (Simonk.) M.Hiroe (1979), Caucalis angustifolia Forssk. (1775), Caucalis aspersa Savi (1798), Caucalis divaricata F.Heller (1810), Caucalis helvetica Jacq. (1777), Caucalis infesta (L.) Curtis (1786), Caucalis infesta var. elatior Gaudin (1828) (not validly publ.), Caucalis infesta var. minus Gaudin (1828), Caucalis segetalis Steud. (1840), Caucalis segetum Thuill. (1799), Daucus infestus (L.) E.H.L.Krause (1904), Lappularia infesta Pomel (1874), Lappularia neglecta Pomel (1874), Ozotrix helvetica (Jacq.) Raf. (1840), Scandix infesta L. (1767), Tordylium segetum Schult. (1820), Torilis aglochis Simonk. (1890), Torilis arvensis var. anthriscoides (DC.) Link ex Schinz & R.Keller (1914), Torilis arvensis var. divaricata (Moench) Täckh. (1956), Torilis arvensis subsp. divaricata (Moench) Thell. (1926), Torilis arvensis var. elatior Thell. (1926), Torilis chlorocarpa Spreng. (1824), Torilis divaricata Moench (1802), Torilis friedrichsthalii Ces. (1838), Torilis helvetica (Jacq.) C.C.Gmel. (1805), Torilis helvetica var. anthriscoides DC. (1830), Torilis infesta (L.) Clairv. (1811)
Synonyms of Torilis japonica (25) (Updated on 11-11-22 from Plants of the World Online): Anthriscus vulgaris Bernh. (1800), Caucalis anthriscus (L.) Huds. (1762), Caucalis aspera Lam. (1779), Caucalis coniifolia Wall. ex DC. (1830), Caucalis elata D.Don (1825), Caucalis japonica Houtt. (1777), Caucalis praetermissa (Hance) Franch. (1879), Caucalis scandicina Roth (1788)(nom. illeg.), Chaerophyllum hispidum Thunb. ex Miq. (1867), Daucus anthriscus (L.) Baill. (1879), Selinum anthriscus (L.) E.H.L.Krause (1904), Selinum torilis E.H.L.Krause (1904), Tordylium anthriscus L. (1753), Tordylium asperum Gilib. (1782)(opus utique oppr.), Tordylium verecundum Salisb. (1796), Torilis anthrisca St.-Lag. (1880), Torilis anthriscus (L.) C.C.Gmel. (1805)(nom. illeg.), Torilis anthriscus var. japonica (Houtt.) H.Boissieu (1903), Torilis convexa Dulac (1867), Torilis elata Spreng. (1827), Torilis persica Boiss. & Buhse (1860), Torilis praetermissa Hance (1866), Torilis rubella Moench (1794), Torilis rubella f. gracilis C.G.Westerl. (1904), Torilis stricta Wibel in Prim. Fl. Werth.: 192 (1799)

Torilis arvensis (Huds.) Link is the correct and accepted scientific name for the Common Hedge Parsley. It was named and described as such by Johann Heinrich Friedrich Link in Enumeratio Plantarum Horti Regii Berolinensis Altera in 1821. It was first named and described as Caucalis arvensis by William Hudson in Flora Anglica in 1762.

Accepted Infraspecific Names of Torilis arvensis (3) (Updated on 12-21-21 from POWO): *Torilis arvensis subsp. arvensis (autonym),Torilis arvensis subsp. recta Jury, Torilis arvensis subsp. turcomanica Geld. *When infraspecific taxon are named, an autonym (“type-specimen”) is automatically generated whose description is closest to the (original) species. All have their own list of synonyms… Torilis arvensis subsp. arvensis is the only one found in North America.

Torilis japonica (Houtt.) DC. is the correct and accepted scientific name for the species commonly known as Erect, Upright, or Japanese Hedge Parsley. It was named and described as such by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis in 1830. It was first named Caucalis japonica by Martinus Houttuyn in 1777.

The genus, Torilis Adans., Was named and described as such by Michel Adanson in Familles des Plantes in 1763.

As of 11-11-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 15 species in the Torilis genus. It is a member of the plant family Apiaceae with 444 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made by POWO.

Distribution map of Torilis arvensis from Plants of the World Online. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved on November 11, 2022 (updated).

The distribution map above for Torilis arvensis is from Plants of the World Online. Areas in green show where the species is native and purple where it has been introduced. The map on the USDA Plants Database for North America (above Mexico) is similar. 

Distribution map of Torilis japonica from Plants of the World Online. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved on July 14, 2021.

The above distribution map above for Torilis japonica is from the Plants of the World Online. Areas in green are where the species is native, purple where it has been introduced, and gold where it is unlikely… The map on the USDA Plants Database for North America (above Mexico) is similar.

The map on iNaturalist shows where members have made observations of Torilis arvensis. Click HERE to see observations of Torilis japonica. Anyone can join and it is a great website to confirm and share your observations. The maps on iNaturalist and continually updated as members post new observations.


Torilis arvensis (Common Hedge Parsley, ETC.) on 8-20-19, #615-23.

Torilis arvensis (Common Hedge Parsley) is one of those species you love to hate. I remember as far back as when I was a kid coming inside from playing and having those darn stick tights stuck to my socks. My mother would have to remove them from my socks before washing the clothes until she decided to teach me a lesson. One day, she didn’t remove them and when I went to put on my socks, the stick tights were still on them. From then on, I tried to avoid them. 

Even now, I despise wildflower hunting and walking through a patch of Hedge Parsley. Even if I need photos of a plant behind them, I try to find a way around them… 

Torilis arvensis is often confused with Torilis japonica even by the experts. They are very hard to tell apart and I believe for a while they have been synonyms of each other. The reason I am saying the plants on the farm are Torilis arvensis is because they were first discovered in Missouri (officially) in 1909 in Jasper County and are now found in every county. The first official specimen of Torilis japonica wasn’t collected in Missouri until 1988… Well, I was getting these darn seeds on my socks in the 1960’s so I suppose they had to be Torilis arvensis. 🙂 Who knows? One thing for sure is they are a pain in the neck…

WELL… I had uploaded photos of Torilis arvensis on iNaturalist, and a member asked if I was sure they weren’t Torilis japonica? I never gave much thought to it but as time went by I became curious. What if the Hedge Parsley here were actually Torilis japonica? That thought festered until I just had to know… SOOOO, on July 11 (in 2021) I took my magnifying glass to get a closer look…

Torilis arvensis (Common Hedge Parsley, ETC.) on 5-11-20, #698-29.

One of my favorite wildflower sites, Missouri Plants, has a page for Torilis japonica and says Torilis arvensis is a synonym. It is a great website, but a little out-of-date as far as some accepted names are concerned (only a few). Plants of the World Online and most other databases list both species as accepted. Illinois Wildflowers states Torilis japonica “has about 8 linear bracts at the base of each compound umbel, and the bristles of its seeds have hooked tips.”

Torilis arvensis (Common Hedge Parsley, ETC.) on 5-11-20, #698-30.

I apologize for not writing descriptions at the moment. I am busy updating plant pages and writing new pages for wildflowers I identified over the summer (plus adding more photos to previously published pages). Writing descriptions in my own words can be a lengthy process, so I decided to just make new pages and come back later and write the descriptions. This is a winter project but sometimes I get behind and it takes longer. I need to continually update because plant names change, the number of species and genera fluctuates, and I want to be as accurate as I can. There are several very good websites below that can help with a positive ID. We are all a work in progress

Torilis arvensis (Common Hedge Parsley, ETC.) on 6-26-20, #714-36.

The foliage of young Torilis arvensis and T. japonica can be mistaken for a few similar-looking species, but around here, they grow just about everywhere so I am pretty used to it. They have nice-looking foliage, but once they start to flower they get yanked up. Even so, there are plenty that escape being pulled up to go to seed…

Torilis arvensis (Common Hedge Parsley, ETC.) on 9-20-20, #744-32.

The Hedge Parsley are EVERYWHERE these days…

Torilis arvensis (Common Hedge Parsley, ETC.) on 9-20-20, #744-33.


Torilis japonica (Japanese Hedge Parsley) on 7-8-21, #809-48.


Torilis japonica (Japanese Hedge Parsley) on 7-8-21, #809-49.


Torilis japonica (Japanese Hedge Parsley) on 7-11-21, #810-16.

SO, here I am on July 11 to check for hooked tips with a magnifying glass. The above photo are from old seeds, likely leftover from 2020. I couldn’t really tell.

Torilis japonica (Japanese Hedge Parsley) on 7-11-21, #810-17.

The above cluster was suspicious…

Torilis japonica (Japanese Hedge Parsley) on 7-11-21, #810-18.

Hmmm… HOLY CRAP! There are hooked tips!!!

Torilis japonica (Japanese Hedge Parsley) on 7-11-21, #810-19.

I checked the fruit on several colonies, and I was shocked to see their fruit all had hooked tips. Now, isn’t that weird?

Torilis japonica (Japanese Hedge Parsley) on 7-11-21, #810-20.

Well, one thing is for sure, you sure can’t tell by the flowers or leaves…

Torilis japonica (Japanese Hedge Parsley) on 7-12-21, #811-2.

I took A LOT of photos trying to get a good one of the hooked tips. They are really hard to get close-ups of…

I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. The farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and identified over 100 species of wildflowers (most have pages listed on the right side of the page). I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing, and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a few horticulturalists I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.

I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.

(GENUS/T. arvensis/T. japonica)
(GENUS/T. arvensis/T. japonica)

TROPICOS (GENUS/T. arvensis/T. japonica)
(GENUS/T. arvensis/T. japonica)

(GENUS/T. arvensis)/T. japonica)

(T. arvensis/T. japonica)

DAVE’S GARDEN (T. arvensis)
iNATURALIST (T. arvensis/T. japonica)
WILDFLOWER SEARCH (T. arvensis/T. japonica)
(T. arvensis/T. japonica)
OREGON FLORA (T. arvensis/T. japonica)
(T. arvensis/(T. japonica)
GO BOTANY (T. japonica)
FLORA FINDER (T. japonica)

NOTE: The data (figures, maps, accepted names, etc.) may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates. Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. Some of the links may use a name that is a synonym on other sites. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates “at least” once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂


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