This annual herb has branched, hollow stems with bright green, finely divided, fern-like leaves, and white flowers. The best flavor is grown in light shade and is used fresh as a garnish or added at the end of cooking. The leaves contain vitamin C, carotene, iron and magnesium. Leaves and blanch stems enhance green salads, vinegar, and many subtle dishes.
Chervil was once called myrrhis for its volatile oil, which has an aroma similar to the resinous substance of myrrh. One of the traditional fines herbes in French cuisine, chervil is valued for its light parsley-like flavor with a hint of myrrh. The benefits of chervil were described by the Roman scholar Pliny, and during the Middle Ages it was used to treat various ailments.