Parsley was originally native to southern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean region. Today it is cultivated everywhere for its leaves, seeds and roots. The familiar sprig of greenery on the side of your dinner plate is an edible breath freshener. Parsley is a clump-forming biennial to about a 1 ft (0.3 m) tall and twice as wide. It has bright green multi-compound curly or flat leaves. The leaflets are finely divided and held at the end of long stems and the whole plant has a rounded, mound-like shape. In its second summer, parsley sends up stalks with compound umbels of small yellow flowers. There are three varieties of parsley, each with several popular cultivars. Variety crispum is the typical curly leaf parsley, with many cultivars including some that look like moss. Variety neapolitanum includes the Italian or flat-leaf parsleys which have a slightly stronger flavor than the curly leaf types. Variety tuberosum includes the Hamburg, turnip-rooted and German parsley cultivars which are grown for their flavorful parsnip-like roots. They have a delicious nutty flavor, reminiscent of a combination of celery and parsley and the tops can be eaten too.
Petroselinum crispum Plant Profile - Floridata, http://www.floridata.com/Plants/Apiaceae/Petroselinum%20crispum/611 (accessed January 24, 2017).