Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) comes in two varieties: as curly-leaf parsley (var. crispum) and root parsley (var. tubersosum).
From Wikipedia: “Parsley or garden parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a species of Petroselinum in the family Apiaceae, native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Greece, Algeria, and Tunisia), naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as a herb, a spice, and a vegetable.
Where it grows as a biennial, in the first year, it forms a rosette of tripinnate leaves 10–25 cm (3.9–9.8 in) long with numerous 1–3 cm (0.4–1.2 in) leaflets, and a taproot used as a food store over the winter.
Parsley is widely used in European, Middle Eastern, and American cooking. Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. In central Europe, eastern Europe and southern Europe, as well as and in western Asia, many dishes are served with fresh green chopped parsley sprinkled on top. Root parsley is very common in central, eastern and southern European cuisines, where it is used as a snack or a vegetable in many soups, stews, and casseroles.”
“Curly leaf parsley is used often as a garnish. Green parsley is used frequently as a garnish on potato dishes (boiled or mashed potatoes), on rice dishes (risotto or pilaf), on fish, fried chicken, lamb, goose, and steaks, as well in meat or vegetable stews ...
In southern and central Europe, parsley is part of bouquet garni, a bundle of fresh herbs used as an ingredient in stocks, soups, and sauces. Freshly chopped green parsley is used as a topping for soups such as chicken soup, green salads, or salads such as salade Olivier, and on open sandwiches with cold cuts or pâtés. ...
Root parsley is very common in Central, Eastern and Southern European cuisines, where it is used as a snack or a vegetable in many soups, stews, and casseroles, and as ingredient for broth. ...
Parsley is a key ingredient in several Middle Eastern salads such as Lebanese tabbouleh.”
“Parsley is a source of flavonoid and antioxidants, especially luteolin, apigenin, folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Half a tablespoon (a gram) of dried parsley contains about 6.0 µg of lycopene and 10.7 µg of alpha carotene as well as 82.9 µg of lutein+zeaxanthin and 80.7 µg of beta carotene.
Excessive consumption of parsley should be avoided by pregnant women. It is safe in normal food quantities, but large amounts may have uterotonic effects.”
“The dried and ripe fruits are used as a medicinal drug: Petroselini fructus and the fresh plant Petroselinum.
The essential oil is a powerful diuretic thanks to the stimulating effects of phenylpropanoids on the renal parenchyma. In higher dosages, the apiol contained in parsley causes increased contraction of the smooth muculature of the intestine, bladder, and in particular the uterus.*”
“Parsley grows best in moist, well-drained soil, with full sun. It grows best between 22–30 °C (72–86 °F), and usually is grown from seed.”
Note (italics): * = Translation from a German Wikipedia entry