Flat Italian Parsley

(Petroselinum crispum)

This Italian flat-leafed parsley has, of course, flat leaves, which distinguish it from the better-known curly-leafed parsley. At first the foliage might be easily confused with cilantro. However, its flavour is distinctly parsley, and it is favored for its deep flavour, which some say holds up better in cooking than curly parsley. It is popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Easy to chop, the nutritious flat leaves are high in iron and in vitamins A, C, and E. A high chlorophyll content makes it a natural breath sweetener, too.

This is a great plant for containers, especially for fall and winter in zone 7 and south. Of course, you can also use it in vegetable and herb beds. In a flower bed it makes a nice, green leafy companion to small flowers such as pansies. It is also more tolerant of hot weather than curly parsley (which can struggle during the peak of summer) and is frost tolerant.

  • Type Biennial (it grows the first season and blooms the second)
  • Planting time Spring, fall
  • Features Flat, green leaves are easy to chop
  • Light Sun to part shade
  • Soil Light, well drained
  • Plant spacing 15 to 18 inches
  • Plant size 1 foot tall
  • Garden use Containers, flower and herb beds
  • Culinary use Garnish, seasoning, salads, palate cleanser

Some Bonnie Plants varieties may not be available in your local area, due to different variables in certain regions. Also, if any variety is a limited, regional variety it will be noted on the pertinent variety page.

Categories: , Tag: SKU: 715339012326
At a glance
Nutrition Information

Light requirements Full sun to part shade.

Planting Space 12 to 20 inches apart, depending on type. (Read the stick tag that comes with the plant for specific spacing recommendations.)

Soil requirements Plants grow best in rich, moist soil.

Water requirements Keep soil moist after planting until plants are well-rooted. Plants grow best with adequate moisture. In containers, irrigate whenever soil is dry.

Frost-fighting plan Established plants can survive a few hard frosts (under 28º F). Use a frost blanket to protect newly planted seedlings from late spring frosts or prolong the growing season.

Common issues Curled parsley is less heat tolerant than flat Italian parsley. It’s not unusual for curled parsley plants to experience slow growth in the heat of summer, while flat Italian parsley thrives. White flowers appear during the second year of growth, causing leaf flavor to become bitter; pull plants and start over. Plants can rot if mulch is piled too deeply against stems. Keep an eye out for whiteflies. Parsleyworm caterpillars can quickly wipe out a stand of parsley, but they turn into black swallowtail butterflies. Plant extra parsley to host them if desired.

Harvesting Pick leaves at any point in the growing season. Snip individual leaves, cutting stems back to the base of the plant.

Storage To store in the refrigerator, wrap unwashed stems in a paper towel. Slip the bundle into a tightly closed plastic bag. Use within 7 to 10 days. For longer storage, freeze leaves individually on a parchment-lined tray, in a single layer in a freezer bag, or in ice cubes (chop leaves first).

For more information, visit the Parsley page in our How to Grow section.

Nutrition Facts

½ cup, fresh:
  • Calories: 11
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Dietary fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Vitamin A: 51% DV
  • Vitamin C: 67%
  • Vitamin K: 615%
  • Vitamin B6: 2%
  • Folate: 12%
  • Potassium: 5%
  • Manganese: 3%

Nutritional Information

Surpassing any ordinary garnish, parsley, a member of the carrot family, provides a good source of protein, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, and dietary fiber. With more than half the daily requirement of Vitamin C, which serves as an anti-inflammatory agent, parsley combats osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The high presence of Vitamin C means that parsley not only accelerates the body’s ability to repair wounds, but also helps maintain healthy bones and teeth. With a whopping dose of Vitamin K, parsley prevents calcium build-up that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. And chocked full of Vitamin A, parsley is a powerhouse when it comes to helping the body metabolize proteins and sugar.

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