Parsley is a mild-flavored herb, and parsley leaves are often used to create attractive garnishes for a variety of dishes. Rich in vitamins and minerals, the ruffled green herb is a flavorful addition to soups and other culinary delights. Although good old curly parsley is the most familiar, you might be surprised that there are many different kinds of parsley. Read on to learn about various types of parsley.
Types and Varieties of Parsley
Many people think some parsley types are best for garnish and others are best suited for cooking. Try them all, and you can make your own decision about the best parsley varieties!
Curly (Common) Parsley – This standard type of parsley, versatile and easy to grow, is both decorative and edible. Curly parsley varieties include Forest Green parsley and Extra Curled Dwarf parsley, a fast-growing, compact variety.
Flat-Leaf Parsley – Flat-leaf parsley is tall, reaching mature heights of 24 to 36 inches (61 to 91 cm.). It is appreciated for its culinary qualities, and is more flavorful than curly parsley. Flat-leaf parsley includes Titan, a compact variety that displays small, deep green, serrated leaves; Italian Flat Leaf, which tastes slightly peppery and looks a bit like cilantro; and Giant of Italy, a big, distinctive plant that tolerates a variety of difficult growing conditions. Flat-leaf parsley types are excellent additions to a butterfly garden.
Japanese Parsley – Native to Japan and China, Japanese parsley is an evergreen perennial herb with a somewhat bitter flavor. The sturdy stems are often eaten like celery.
Hamburg Parsley – This large parsley has thick, parsnip-like roots that add texture and flavor to soups and stews. Hamburg parsley leaves are ornamental and look a bit like ferns.
Now that you know about the most common varieties of parsley, you can try them all and see which one(s) you prefer in your kitchen or herb garden.