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I know that curled parsley is different from the flat but is Italian flat leaf parsley exactly the same as French flat leaf parsley?  If yes then why the different names? 


Yes, same stuff.  Why two names?  For the same reason I have 3 - Robert, Rob and Bob;  It depends on who is doing the talking!

Papi Jo

Hi alicef, here are my findings...

- Petroselinum crispum with ruffled leaves aka "curly parsley"

- Petroselinum crispum var. neapolitanum with flat leaves aka "flat-leaved parsley" / "Italian parsley".

There is no such thing as "French flat leaf parsley". What is sometimes called "French parsley" is in fact a different species, Anthriscus cerefolium aka "common chervil". But chervil also exists in a 'curled' variety.

As usual with plants, the only valid reference is the scientific (Latin) name. The same common name can apply to 2 different species and the same species can have quite a few different common names. The extra advantage of using the scientific name is that it's international. So using scientific names for plants on a gardening site does not mean being pedantic (as I've sometimes been reproached with), on the contrary, it makes things more clear. Of course, asking for a bunch of Petroselinum crispum at the greengrocer's market stall, that would be pedantic ... and ridiculous.


The simple fact is that lots of folk (perhaps the majority) in the UK call flat leaved parsley 'French parsley'.  The rest call it 'Italian parsley' and the 'other rest' just call it 'flat leaved parsley'!

Thank you all for your replies! 

I had been avoiding sowing my Italian parsley seed in favour of the packet labelled French as somewhere I had read somewhere a chef who stated that French had a better flavour and was less tough than Italian!  Now I shall sow the Italian with abandon knowing that they are the same!



I find the 'toughness' of parsley depends hugely on how it's grown - grown quickly and harvested while young, it's lovely and tender - grown more slowly and harvested when it's older and darker green and it's slightly tougher - but as I'm usually using it chopped, or as an aromatic in a stock, the difference is negligible.

Now, which is better ?  The one you like, that grows well in your garden.  Surely it is all a matter of personal taste.

i once heard a very knowledgable wine buff say the best wine is the one you like, let us not be snobbish.


I always grow flat-leaf, I think the flavour is better and it's easier to deal with. The curly stuff takes too much chewing

Pete8 says:

I always grow flat-leaf, I think the flavour is better and it's easier to deal with. The curly stuff takes too much chewing

See original post

 I get enough exercise anyway without chewing that curly parsley,  Pete!  

Flat leaf is always preferable I think - does that make me a snob?  


Only if it make me one too 


Round here the French call flat leaf parsley Common Parsley.

I like either as long as it's fresh and young and tender.   

I prefer curly parsley if I am going to cook it, as in a sauce, soup or casserole. Flat leaf parsley for sprinkling on salads, finished dishes etc.

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