Parsley With Flower: Is It Edible In Flower?

Parsley With Flower: Is It Edible In Flower?

Even the ancient Romans knew to appreciate the effect of the aromatic seasoning herb. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is still one of the most commonly used kitchen herbs. It is used to refine soups, sauces and meat and fish dishes. Not only in the home garden, but also on the windowsill, balcony or terrace culture is easily possible. Harvesting can be done almost all year round, but is the herb also edible in bloom?

Parsley with flower

Flowering stands in the second year
Most herbs can continue to be harvested after flowering. However, what is the situation with parsley? Can the buckweed, as parsley is also called, still be used in the kitchen when in bloom?

In the second year after planting or sowing the flowers appear. They stand on 90 to 120 centimeter long and thicker flower stalks. The inflorescence appears in the form of flattened umbels and consists of

  • many small, star-shaped flowers
  • petals white or greenish-yellow to reddish overpainted
  • petals directed inwards
  • a few, few bracts
  • pollination by insects
  • green-grey, egg- to pear-shaped fruits (seeds)

The herb blooms in the months of June to July. During and also after the appearance of the flower umbels, the consumption of the seasoning herb is harmful to health.

Note: The parsley is no longer edible, let alone edible!

In the plant parts the contained portion of the poisonous Apiol increases. Likewise, the concentration of other essential oils is exceptionally high. The leaves and also other parts of the plant are virtually poisoned. Therefore, it should no longer be used in food. The same applies to decorative purposes. The situation is similar with woodruff. Here, the coumarin content increases drastically.

It does not help if the flower stems are removed regularly, because they grow again and the remaining parts of the plant contain the poisonous apiol in already high concentration anyway. Caution is also advised with the egg-shaped seeds. They also contain a very high proportion of the toxic apiol and other essential oils. Therefore, it is more advisable to harvest enough leaflets before the beginning of flowering. However, the flowers should remain standing, because they provide food for bees, as do other flowering herbs, such as dill, sage, thyme or lovage. After flowering, the plant can be pulled out and disposed of in the compost.

Note: Apiol in very high concentration can cause allergic reactions, spasms of the digestive tract, but also liver and kidney damage. Especially pregnant women and also kidney patients should avoid eating flowering parsley at all costs. This substance can cause contractions of the uterus and lead to premature birth or even miscarriage.

Harvest all year round

It is generally known that herbs in particular are most aromatic shortly before flowering, as a relatively high proportion of essential oils is then present. This is also true for parsley. Therefore, before it blooms, it is advisable to harvest many leaflets. To do this, simply cut off the stems with the leaves. This can be done quietly close to the ground. As a rule, the herb quickly grows back. However, it is important to leave the heart leaves with a little thicker stalk, so that new shoots appear again and again. In the first year, harvesting can be done on the windowsill all year round and in the garden from March to October, depending on the weather. Whereas in the second year only until just before flowering in May to June. The use can be

  • fresh
  • Addition just before the end of cooking
  • can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days
  • good for freezing
  • wash stems for this purpose
  • carefully shake dry
  • then chop into small pieces
  • pack in foil bags or small containers
Parsley With Flower: Is It Edible In Flower?

Note: In contrast, flowers of various herbal plants such as chives, borage or oregano can be eaten or used for decoration. They are very tasty.

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