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B Introduced Photo: Anil Thakur
Common name: Parsley, Garden parsley,
Botanical name: Petroselinum crispum    Family: Apiaceae (Carrot family)

Parsley is flowering plant native to the central Mediterranean region, but has naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and is widely cultivated as a herb, a spice, and a vegetable, the world over. It can grow as a biennial, where in the first year, it forms a rosette of tripinnate leaves, 10-25 cm long, with numerous 1-3 cm leaflets and a taproot used as a food store over the winter. In the second year, it grows a flowering stem with sparser leaves and umbels with yellow to yellowish-green flowers. The leaves are arranged alternately, 1-3-pinnately compound, dark green, glossy, flat or curled and with sheath at the base. The leaf-stalk is longest in the lower leaves. The pinnae are long-stalked, with obovate-wedge-shaped to finely linear leaflets, which are divided into pointed segments. The higher leaves are gradually less divided while the topmost leaf consists of a few pointed segments only. Parsley is frequently used for garnish or flavouring salads and many cooked dishes. However, it has too strong a flavor to be eaten in quantity for most palates.

Identification credit: Anil Thakur Photographed in cultivation in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.

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