Turnip-rooted chervil is an ancient root vegetable from Europe and Western Asia. Small tubers form in the first year that are harvested for food, served fresh or cooked. The flavor is like a mix of chestnut, celery, and parsnip, and is said to improve after at least a month of cold storage following harvest. Like many other members of the Apiaceae family (carrots, celery, parsley, etc) this is a biennial plant, so if the roots are not harvested, it will flower the second year and produce an abundance of seeds. The blooms are very attractive to pollinators and other beneficials, so even if you don't harvest the roots they are worth having in the garden. It stays at about 6 inches tall the first year, but can reach over 5 feet tall when blooming. The foliage is also edible and tastes much like parsley. This population comes to us from Andy Hahn in Colorado, where the plants have established themselves in his garden. They express a good deal of diversity, so selection for tuber-size and taste are very likely in order. Andy's original seed came from Poland.
To improve germination, seed greatly benefits from cold moist stratification. From Andy: "I mix mine with moist vermiculite and keep in an air tight container in the fridge until the root germinates, then spread the starting mix in the garden bed and lightly cover. They have become very well adapted to my garden here in CO."