AskDefine | Define parsley

Dictionary Definition



1 annual or perennial herb with aromatic finely-cut leaves [syn: Petroselinum crispum]
2 aromatic herb with flat or curly leaves

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A bright green, biennial herb, Petroselinum crispum or Petroselinum neapolitanum having either flat or curled leaves.
  2. The leaves of this plant used in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking.

Derived terms


  • Czech: petržel
  • Estonian: petersell
  • Finnish: persilja
  • French: persil
  • German: Petersilie
  • Greek: μαϊντανός
  • Hungarian: petrezselyem
  • Italian: prezzemolo
  • Polish: pietruszka
  • Portuguese: salsa
  • Romanian: pătrunjel
  • Russian: петрушка
  • Spanish: perejil
  • Turkish: maydanoz

Extensive Definition

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a bright green, biennial herb, also used as spice. It is very common in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking. Parsley is used for its leaf in much the same way as coriander (which is also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro), although it has a milder flavor.


Two forms of parsley are used as herbs: curly leaf and Italian, or flat leaf (P. neapolitanum). Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. Many people think flat leaf parsley has a stronger flavor, and this opinion is backed by chemical analysis which finds much higher levels of essential oil in the flat-leaved cultivars. One of the compounds of the essential oil is apiol. The use of curly leaf parsley may be favored by some because it cannot be confused with poison hemlock, like flat leaf parsley or chervil.

Root parsley

Another type of parsley is grown as a root vegetable, as with hamburg root parsley. This type of parsley produces much thicker roots than types cultivated for their leaves. Although little known in Britain and the United States, root parsley is very common in Central and Eastern European cuisine, where it is used in most soups or stews.
Though it looks similar to parsnip it tastes quite different. Parsnips are among the closest relatives of parsley in the umbellifer family of herbs, although the similarity of the names is a coincidence, parsnip meaning "forked turnip". It is not related to real turnips.


Parsley's germination is notoriously difficult. Tales have been told concerning its lengthy germination, with some suggesting that "germination was slow because the seeds had to travel to hell and back two, three, seven, or nine times (depending on sources) before they could grow." Germination is inconsistent and may require 3-6 weeks. It is also valued as an aquaretic.
  • When crushed and rubbed on the skin, parsley can reduce itching in mosquito bites.

Health risks



image:Parsley Flat.jpg|Flat Parsley
parsley in Arabic: بقدونس
parsley in Bulgarian: Магданоз
parsley in Catalan: Julivert
parsley in Czech: Petržel
parsley in Danish: Persille
parsley in Pennsylvania German: Pederli
parsley in German: Petersilie
parsley in Modern Greek (1453-): Μαϊντανός
parsley in Spanish: Petroselinum crispum
parsley in Esperanto: Petroselo
parsley in Persian: جعفری (سبزی)
parsley in French: Persil
parsley in Galician: Perexil
parsley in Indonesian: Peterseli
parsley in Italian: Petroselinum crispum
parsley in Hebrew: פטרוזיליה
parsley in Haitian: Pèsi
parsley in Latin: Petroselinum
parsley in Lithuanian: Petražolė
parsley in Hungarian: Petrezselyem
parsley in Dutch: Peterselie
parsley in Japanese: パセリ
parsley in Neapolitan: Petrusino
parsley in Norwegian: Persille
parsley in Norwegian Nynorsk: Persille
parsley in Polish: Pietruszka zwyczajna
parsley in Portuguese: Salsa (planta)
parsley in Romanian: Pătrunjel
parsley in Quechua: Qhurita
parsley in Russian: Петрушка (растение)
parsley in Simple English: Parsley
parsley in Slovenian: Navadni peteršilj
parsley in Serbian: Першун
parsley in Finnish: Persilja
parsley in Swedish: Persilja
parsley in Vietnamese: Mùi tây
parsley in Turkish: Maydanoz
parsley in Ukrainian: Петрушка
parsley in Vlaams: Perselle
parsley in Chinese: 香芹
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