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Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is probably native to southern Europe, but is now cultivated and naturalized in many temperate regions of the world. It was used as an herb by the ancient Greeks and Romans, reaching England in the 16th century. There are three forms of cultivated Parsley:

1) The usual curled Parsley with curled and crisped leaflets.

2) Plain-leaved Parsley with larger and flat leaflets

3) Hamburg Parsley, a plain-leaved form with a tuberous root, like a small Turnip, that is eaten in parts of Europe.

Fresh Parsley is rich in Vitamin C (190 mg/100 g).

Parsley is a biennial, producing in the first year a rosette of trifoliate to pinnate, long-stalked bright green leaves, up to around 28 cm in length, their segments typically curled and crisped. In its second year, the Parsley plant produces solid erect flowering stems, 30 to 70 cm in height, At the top are flat-topped compound umbels of small yellow flowers which give rise to 2.5 mm fruits typical of the carrot family (Apiaceae or Umbelliferae).

(Vaughan and Geissler 1997)


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