Thursday, 19 March 2015



Parsley, Curled (Petroselinum crispum) Umbelliferae. Biennial.
Parsley, Italian; (P.crispum neapolitanum) Umbelliferae. Biennial.
Progation; seeds. Spring (again in Autum in temperate climates).
Position: sunny.
Soil: average, well drained.
Height: curled parsley, 25 cm (10 inches) Italian parsley, 45 cm (11/2 feet).
Parts used: leaves, root (sometimes).

Curled Parsley
Curled parsley, as the name suggests, has tightly curled leaves of bright green. Some kinds may be more crinkled and tightly curled than others, such as tripled-curled and moss-curled varieties. P.crispum is the variety of curled parsley that people usually refer to as parsley, and is the most widely used.

Italian parsley, which is not so familiar, has leaves which are not curled, but are deeply cut and serrated like the tops of celery or lovage, the flavour being regarded by many as stronger than curled parsley. However, curled parsley is preferred for garnishing because of its more decorative leaves. Another lessen known variety is called Hamburg parsley which has a long white root like a parsnip and is mainly grown for these roots which can be used cooked as a vegetable.

It is widely believed that parsley originated in Sardinia, although an early writer says that parsley has such a curious history no one can truly tell what native country it is from. Probably the plant has been altered over time by cultivation to have lost its original source. It occurs in mythology and believed to have sprung from the blood of a Greek hero, Archemorous, the forerunner of death. Grecian gardens were often bordered with parsley.

To propagate parsley, so seed in spring and also in autumn in temperate climates in finely dug soil, in drills 30 cm (12 inches) apart, where the plants are to grow, thinning out later to approximately 8 cm (3 inches) between plants. Curled parsley is the most difficult tpe to grow, the seeds sometimes taking two weeks to germinate, during which time the bed must never be allowed to dry out or the seeds will cease germinating. If this has occurred, further watering is of no use, the seeds must be resown and more care taken. Italian parsley is much easier to grow. Three to four days after sowing the seeds will usually germinate, provided that they are very lightly covered with soil to not more than 6 mm (1/4 inch) in depth and kept moist. As parsley is a biennial to keep it from going to seed during the first year, cut the long flower stalks as they appear. However, the second year’s growth is never as good. Sow seed each year to ensure strong healthy plants.
Italian Parsley

Parsley can be cut for drying at any time. It will keep its green colour and flavour if dried quickly in a warm oven preheated to 120 degrees C (250 F). After turning the oven off, spread out the parsley heads, which have been snipped from the stalks, on a large try or baking dish, and leave in the oven for fifteen minutes, turning several times until crisp-dry. Store them in airtight containers away from the light. For freezing, chop fresh leaves finely, mix with a little water and put them into ice cube trays in the freezer. Sprays of fresh parsley may be wrapped in foil and frozen. Parsley butter freezes well too.

Parsley’s tat is usually described as fresh and crisp and sometimes a little earthy. It  is also unassertive which makes it complimentary to other herbs in mixtures. It is often used as one of the four herbs in “fine herbs’ blend, the other herbs being chervil, chives and tarragon. A spray of parsley, bay leave and each of thyme, marjoram, are the herbs which make up a bouquet garni. Parsley leaves whether freshly chopped or dried go into sauces, omelettes, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, mornay’s, salads, soups, pasta dishes and vegetable dishes and with poultry and fish.  Fresh curly parsley are used for garnishing and when crisp fried make a delicious accompaniment for fish. Nourishing parsley jelly is made from fresh leaves. Parsley tea is made from fresh or dried leaves.

All parts of the plant, roots, stems, leaves, and seeds, are useful and beneficial. The roots were once boiled and eaten as a vegetable, particularly the large Hamburg variety. The stalks of Italian parsley have been blanched and eaten like celery. The foliage of all variety is rich in iron and vitamins. Parsley tea made form leaves or root assists kidneys, digestion and circulation.

Parsley has been included in rubbing lotions for the scalp and hair before shampooing and to make dark hair shiny. Parsley is also used in herbal lotions for closing large pores and as a freshener for the skin and to reduce puffiness around the eyes.

Parsley is helpful to roses in the garden, a low border of curly parsley plants being attractive and beneficial at the same time. Parsley also aids tomatoes. Honey bees are attracted to parsley when it is in bloom.


1 part dried oregano
1 part dried thyme
1 part dried parsley
1/3 part salt

Mix together and put into a shaker container, label and date.

Oregano one of the dried herbs uses in the Italian herb mix with Parsley

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.


  1. We have both types of parsley growing here if you ever need any, Shiralee. It just pops up everywhere and we never look after it. The benefits of having 1/2 acre I guess.

    1. Nanna Chel,
      If we need any I'll let you know. We have ours in pots and never do anything besides cutting them for cooking and they keep on giving.
      - Shiralee.

  2. Fancy that - nobody knowing the origins of parsley. I love how you structure your posts, so easy to read and follow

    1. Phil,
      I'm surprised to find out it is a 'old' herb. At some point I'm hoping to use the structure of the herb posts to add more to each section particularly the cosmetic, culinary, headings.
      - Shiralee.