Petroselinum crispum, or parsley, is a self-seeding biennial plant with a single, spindle-shaped taproot, from which grow smooth and many-branched, juicy stems. A biennial plant, it can grow as much as one meter (three feet) in its second year. The alternate compound leaves are bright green and feather-like in appearance, finely divided and tri-pinnate. Some varieties are flat-leafed and others more curly. The small, five-petaled flowers, which bloom in the second year, are yellow-green and appear in clusters. The seeds are tiny, gray-brown, ribbed, and egg-shaped (ovate) (Hanrahan and Frey 2005).
Parsley ( Petroselinum crispum ) is a member of the carrot family and fits in well to its family as it is a lot more than just a decorative green on your plate. In fact, it is one of the most nutritious of all herbs. An excellent source of vitamins A and C, it also contains niacin, riboflavin, selenium, and calcium. It is rich in chlorophyll and essential oils that freshen your breath.
Hardy biennial herb ( Petroselinum crispum ) of the family Apiaceae, or Umbelliferae, native to Mediterranean lands. The compound leaves are used in cooking. The family Apiaceae, sometimes called the parsley family, contains 300400 genera of plants found in a wide variety of habitats, mostly in northern temperate regions. Most are aromatic herbs with feathery leaves. The flowers are often arranged in a conspicuous umbel (a flat-topped cluster). Many species are poisonous, including poison hemlock . Popular members of the family include carrot , celery , parsnip , and fennel . Species used as herbs and spices include anise , dill , coriander , caraway , and cumin ( Cuminum cyminum ).
Parsley is widely used as a companion plant in gardens. Like many other umbellifers, it attracts predatory insects, including wasps and predatory flies to gardens, which then tend to protect plants nearby. They are especially useful for protecting tomato plants, for example, the wasps that kill tomato hornworms also eat nectar from parsley. While parsley is biennial, not blooming until its second year, even in its first year it is reputed to help cover up the strong scent of the tomato plant, reducing pest attraction.
Parsley is for a Healthy Heart. Parsley is a good source of folic acid , one of the most important B vitamins. While it plays numerous roles in the body, one of its most critical roles in relation to cardiovascular health is its necessary participation in the process through which the body converts homocysteine into benign molecules. Homocysteine is a potentially dangerous molecule that, at high levels, can directly damage blood vessels, and high levels of homocysteine are associated with a significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.
Parsley is a nutrient powerhouse containing high levels of beta carotene, vitamin B12, folate, chlorophyll, calcium, more vitamin C than citrus fruits, and just about all other known nutrients. Parsley is a moistening, nourishing, restoring, ‘warming’ food, pungent with a slightly bitter, salty flavor. It enhances and stimulates the energy of organs, improving their ability to assimilate and utilize nutrients.