Plants for Water-Wise Pollinator Gardens: Parsley (Petroselinium species)

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape September 22, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Plant Family



Black swallowtail butterfly larvae feeding on curly leaf parsley
Photo credit: Marc Dufour Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0



Carrot or Parsley Family (Apiaceae / Umbelliferae)


Common Names



  • Biennial herb native to the Mediterranean region of Europe
  • First year plants are leafy and grow to about 1 to 2 feet tall
  • Second year flower stalk can reach 3 feet in height
  • Umbel type greenish white flowers bloom in early summer
  • The two most popular types of parsley are flat leaf or Italian parsley (Petroselinium neapolitanum) and curly leaf parsley (Petroselinium crispum).  
  • Plant in full sun in well drained soils
  • Parsley can be grown in USDA Zones 4 to 9 and is often planted as an annual in colder regions
  • Both leaves and seed are edible
  • Leave some plants to flower the second year and watch for pollinators
  • If desired, cut off flower heads or remove the entire plant to avoid reseeding in the garden


Black swallowtail butterfly larvae
Parsley also attracts beneficial predatory wasps and flies that feed on insect pests.

Additional Resources:

Pennsylvania - Parsley

Minnesota  - Parsley
Nebraska- Growing Parsley              

Florida - Parsley - More than a Decorative Green Leaf



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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.