Parsley, Big Italy

Name

Botanical Name

Family

Native to

Water

Sun

Soil

 

Height

Width

Space

Parsley, Big Italy

Petroselinum crispum

 

Apiaceae

The Mediterranean region; found on rocky slopes and fields

Evenly moist

Full Sun; Part shade

Fertile; Well-drained

18"

12-16"

8-12"

Price

Gallon Pots:  $5.00

Description

Extra-large, flat, green leaves provide crisp flavor.  Yellow-green flowers on umbels appear the second year.  Note:  Although leaves become tough the second year, we keep our plants in the garden because they are a host plant for the Black Swallowtail butterfly.   

Keeping it Going

  • Parsley requires moist, rich, well-drained soil.  Regular potting mix for your garden center will work fine.

  • You can plant it in full sun, or partial shade.  

  • Parsley can be a perennial

Won't Tolerate

  • Soggy soil - can cause root rot

  • Too many hot, dry summer days.  Move the plant in a shadier area and ensure it has sufficient water

History

&

Points of Interest

  • Italian parsley is also known as French, or flat leaved parsley.  It is a larger, hardier plant than other varieties.

  • The name parsley is a corruption of, petros selinon, which was the name used by Pedanius Dioscorides, a Greek physician and pharmacologist who traveled with the Roman army to study plants in the interest of medicine.  By the Middle Ages, the word had become, petrocilium (now its botanical name), and finally parsley.  

  • Parsley has many traditions and superstitions surrounding it.  The Greeks associated it with death and funerals and fed it to their chariot horses before battle, yet the Romans viewed it as a major culinary herb and used it in everything from sauce to salad.  As for superstitions, it was said that it grows where, "the mistress is master."  It was also thought to foretell disaster when it was transplanted, given away, or picked when in love.

  • Uses:  Medicinal and Culinary

  • Medicinal:  Rich in Vitamin A and C - it acts as an antioxidant.  It also contains a flavonoid, apigenin, which is an anti-allergen.  It is used in herbal medicine to treat complaints such as:  urinary tract infections, menstrual problems, kidney stones, rheumatism and arthritis.  Caution:  Although parsley is perfectly safe used whole in culinary dishes, it is toxic in excess.  Always consult a physician when taking home remedies.     

  • Culinary:  The leaves are used in salads, sauces, flavored butter, stuffings, meat, fish and chicken dishes.  The stalks, which have a more intense flavor, are used to flavor casseroles and cooked dishes.

  • Parsley is the host plant for the Black Swallowtail butterfly

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