Carew, H. John Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.
Last reviewed:August 2019
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A biennial herb, Petroselinum crispum, of European origin belonging to the plant order Apiales (Umbellales). Parsley (see illustration) is grown for its edible foliage and is used to garnish and flavor foods. It contains large quantities of vitamins A and C and has been grown for at least 2000 years. Two types, plain-leafed and curled, are grown for their foliage. Hamburg parsley (P. crispum var. tuberosum), also called turnip-rooted parsley, is grown for its edible parsnip-like root. Parsley oil is a colorless or pale-greenish-yellow liquid that is distilled from parsley seeds. It has a parsley aroma; is soluble in alcohol, ether, and chloroform; and is used in medicine. Propagation of parsley is by seed. Harvesting begins 70–80 days after planting for foliage varieties, and 90 days after planting for Hamburg parsley. See also: Apiales; Essential oils
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