parsley plant (Petroselinum crispum) is a hardy biennial widely grown
in gardens throughout the United States. Several varieties are used
for garnishing and flavouring purposes, but the moss-curled (Curled
Leaf variety) is the one most commonly grown. The coarse-leaved and
turnip-rooted varieties also furnish both leaves and roots for flavouring
purposes. Parsley was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Greeks
used it to crown athletes but also believed it was a symbol of death.
The Romans used it as a food, often eaten with lettuce. Parsley was
brought to England in the 16th century and followed the colonists
to the new world.
is a biennial or short-lived perennial with rosette of rich green
leaflets. The glossy, solid sharp-edged leafy stem bears flat-topped
umbels of yellow-green flowers, followed by capsules of brown seeds
seeds can be sown in spring either in cold frames or window boxes
or directly in the garden. Better results can be expected if the plants
are grown indoors or under glass and later transplanted to the garden,
since they can be started earlier and become better established before
hot weather begins. The seeds are soaked for 24 hours in warm water
or boiling water is poured into seed drills immediately before sowing.
If seeds are sown directly in the garden, they should be sown early,
in drills at the rate of 15 to 20 to the foot, and the plants thinned
to 6 to 8 inches apart in the row. In southern sections of the country
parsley can be grown as a winter crop. Plants can be kept green under
glass in a cold frame during the winter where freezing is not too
severe. The plants bloom and produce seed the second season.
green leaves can be harvested at any time during the season, as soon
as sufficient growth has been made. The plants remain green in the
garden until early in winter. Parsley leaves are generally used in
the fresh state, but both leaves and roots retain their flavour when
dried. The leaves should be dried, and the roots can be kept as other
vegetable root crops or sliced and dried. The turnip-rooted varieties
may be dug late in fall. The plants are cut and harvested, the stems
removed, and the leaves are dried mechanically, causing a very dark
green colour. The seeds are collected when capsules are ripe.
volatile oil of parsley is very low (0.05%). This volatile oil can
be extracted and sold as an essential oil.
seeds and dried roots of parsley are used as spices. It is used in
a large variety of products, anywhere a green leafy piece is desired.
It is usually used as a visual and does not contribute much flavour.
The leaves may be used for flavour and for garnish in soups, vegetables,
salads, meats, and poultry. The roots go well as a vegetable in soups.
and other use
tea made from leaves or roots is used to treat jaundice, coughs and
menstrual problems, rheumatism, kidney stones and urinary infections.
The juice expressed from them soothes conjunctivitis and eye inflammations.
Seeds contain poisonous apiol and are sometimes infused to produce
an external vermifuge.