Parsley is the 2021 Herb of the Year of the International Herb Association as well as the New Zealand Herb Federation

There are several kinds of parsley but two types are much used in New Zealand namely curly parsley (petroselinum crispum) and flat leaved variety, Italian parsley (petroselinum petroselinum crispum var. neapolitanum).

It is one of the most versatile and much loved and used culinary herbs.  Parsley is a wonderful fresh addition to sauces, salads, and any dish that could use a pop of colour and a touch of herbal flavour. Use parsley generously in savoury dishes and combine with other herbs. The traditional combination of a bouquet garni consists of  parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, which goes in a pot of stock, stew or soup.  Add chopped parsley at the last minute to ensure that it retains all its goddess and freshness.  Or make a Gremolata (an Italian condiment made of about 1/4 cup Italian chopped parsley, 1 minced clove of garlic and the zest of 1 or two lemons) and sprinkle just before serving, over rich winter stews , roast chicken or seafood - yum!

The herb is rich in antioxidants, calcium, iron, vitamin C and vitamin K as well as chlorophyll. It is said to support bone health and even reduce inflammation.   

Parsley roots, seeds and leaves have a long history of medicinal use  and might help stimulate the appetite, improve digestion, increase urine production, reduce spasms, and increase menstrual flow.  It is important to note general information relating to various medical conditions and herbal medicine does not substitute advice provided by your doctor or qualified health professional. 

Grow it in easy reach of the kitchen and ensure that you have a constant supply to grow year round.  Over summer parsley is prone to go to seed. To avoid this water your parsley consistently, regularly pick, remove flowers and parts of the plant that go to seed. If your parsley does go to seed, the positive is that beneficial insects like bees love the flowers. 

Never underestimate this wonderful herb.  For more information visit

Supplied by Canterbury HERB Society