Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) belongs to the same family as carrots and celery (Apiaceae or Umbelliferae). There are three species, one of which P. crispum is grown widely as a herb. Parsley is a native to Europe and Western Asia. It is a hardy fast growing annual or biennial clump forming plant.
Fertile or well fertilized soil.
Avoid excessive wet or dry.
Propagate by seed in spring (cool climates) or autumn (hot climates)
Seed often started in a greenhouse because it can be slow to start.
P. crispum is the only species cultivated, though it has been known under a variety of other names including P. hortense, P. tuberosum and P. sativum.
Parsley normally lives for two seasons. In temperate climates it prefers a sunny, moist position and responds to regular feeding and good drainage. In warmer climates the roots are best mulched and good light but indirect sunlight would be prefered.
Leaves are used as a garnish or chopped and added to cooked foods at the end of the cooking process too much heat destroys the flavour.
Foliage is handled like mint. Seed heads are harvested on maturity, laid on a dry surface to dry, then beaten or thrashed to obtain the seed. Roots are occasionally dug (autumn of second year) and dried.
Excellent in a large pot as long as the potting mix is good quality and plants are regularly fed. Harvest leaves by pulling them downwards off the central stem removing the complete leaf stalk.
Curled Parsley (Petroselinum crispum var crispum)
This is the most commonly grown parsley because of it's attractive curly foliage. The flavour is not as strong as Italian parsley. used fresh, dried or dehydrated in foods, or as a garnish
Italian or Plain Leaf Parsley (Petroselinum crispum var. neopolitanum)
A stronger flavoured foliage makes this more favoured by chefs. As with any parsley, it is rich in vitamin A and C, and has a variety of medicinal uses (Parsley should not be over eaten during pregnancy though).
has flat, not so curly leaves.
Usually considered to have more flavour than others.
Hamburg or Turnip rooted parsley (Petroselinum crispum var. tuberosum )
This is less common. It has an enlarged edible root, and is sometimes cultivated as a vegetable