In the case of leaf parsley, a distinction is made between curly and smooth varieties. We introduce you to the best varieties for growing in the garden and pots.
Parsley is one of the most popular culinary herbs in the USA and has been on our menu since the Middle Ages. There are now a wide variety of varieties that differ from one another in terms of appearance and taste.
Parsley varieties: flat and curly parsley
In the case of parsley ( Petroselinum crispum ssp. Crispum ), the main distinguishing feature is initially the leaf. If it is finely curled, if it is a ‘moss frill’ type, if it is smooth it is one of the ‘simple’ parsley varieties. In the Middle Ages, monks bred curly parsley to make it easier to distinguish from the poisonous dog parsley ( Aethusa cynapium ). The most important difference between flat and curly parsley is the expression of the aroma. In contrast to its frizzy siblings, the smooth or ‘simple’ parsley has a lot more aroma and taste. When it comes to growing and caring for parsley, however, the two leaf types do not differ.
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The best varieties of parsley to grow
The leaf parsley shows little variation within its varieties compared to other herbs. Japanese parsley ( Cryptoptaenia japonica ), also called Mitsuba, is only distantly related to leaf parsley but is used in the same way. This parsley has green to deep red and significantly larger leaves than our domestic parsley, and should not go anonymous here. Below we present the best smooth, frizzy, and Japanese parsley varieties for growing at home in the flower bed or pots.
- ‘Simple cut 2’: The striking dark green foliage of this smooth leaf parsley stands on sturdy stems. The plants are not only very robust but also extraordinarily aromatic.
- ‘Gigante d´Italia’ is a smooth, Italian parsley variety with a strong aroma and rapid growth. It reaches a height of 30 to 50 centimeters and can be harvested all year round.
- ‘Gigante di Napoli’ is an early variety that can be harvested just a few weeks after sowing and has smooth, very large, dark green leaves. Their intense taste is ideal for pesto and green sauce.
- ‘Afrodite’ is a particularly aromatic moss frill that produces numerous leaves on short stems. The compact parsley variety can also be grown very well in pots.
- ‘Green Pearl’ is an extremely high-yielding curled parsley that can even be harvested after the winter before the flowers develop. The densely filled and strongly stalked leaves of this moss frill are characteristic.
- ‘Mooskrause 2 & Immergrün’ forms dense, curled leaves that hardly tend to turn yellow when stressed. This curled parsley forms strong, short stems.
- ‘Riccio Verde’ is particularly compact. The moss-frilled parsley is early to medium ripe and has dark green, strongly curled leaves.
Mitsuba ( Cryptotaenia japonica ) means something like “three leaves” in American and describes this Japanese parsley very well. The leaves are significantly larger than those of leaf parsley and have a taste reminiscent of chervil, celery, and cloves.
- Mitsuba ‘Bronze’ is a deep red to a bronze-colored variant of Japanese parsley. It is hardy and perennial, can be used with its stems, and is best chopped and sprinkled over all kinds of dishes.
- Mitsuba ‘Purpurascens’ has deep red foliage and is, therefore, a special ornament in pots and beds.
Tip: The ‘Gigante d’Italia’ variety is also included in our Gardender herb growing kit. Together with chives, mint, and two types of basil, you can easily create your own herb garden.
Have you chosen a variety for growing in the home garden or on the balcony? In our article on growing parsley, you will now find out everything about the location, sowing, harvest, and storage of the popular herb.
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