Parsley root

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The parsley root (Petroselinum crispum var. Tuberosum), also root parsley, tuber parsley or called Peterwurzen in Austria, belongs to the genus Umbelliferae (Apiaceae). It is a subspecies of the more widely known leaf parsley (Petroselinum crispum var. Crispum), which forms highly thickened, edible and very aromatic roots.


The parsley root (Petroselinum crispum var. Tuberosum), also root parsley, tuber parsley or called Peterwurzen in Austria, belongs to the genus Umbelliferae (Apiaceae). It is a subspecies of the more widely known leaf parsley (Petroselinum crispum var. Crispum), which forms highly thickened, edible and very aromatic roots.
The parsley root is native to the eastern Mediterranean and North Africa. Some also include West Asia as the region of origin. Their botanical genus name Petroselinum derives from the ancient Greek words 'petros' and 'selinom'. The former can be translated as stone or rock, while the second refers to all plants that are similar to celery. The name refers to the often stony locations of parsley in the Mediterranean area.

Appearance and growth

The parsley root is biennial and grows herbaceous. Their leaves have the typical smell of parsley and are also visually reminiscent of those of the parsley leaf. They are, however, slightly larger and not quite as aromatic.
In the first year, the parsley root forms a white, cone-shaped taproot, which tapers down. It is 15 to 20 inches long and has a diameter of up to five centimeters. It has a yellowish-yellow color with transverse, brown rings and the pulp is white. Unlike the leaves, the root is largely frost hardy.
In the second year, the parsley root forms a hollow, slightly grooved, up to 90 centimeters long flower stems. The yellow-green umbellifers open in June and July.
Parsley root is often confused with parsnips because of its white roots. Their roots, however, are a bit longer and wider. Parsley root also smells and tastes intensively of parsley, while the parsnip of carrots is noticeable in parsnips. The Blattansatz of parsley root bulges unlike the parsnip as a small mountain to the top.

Leaf root of parsley root

The leaf root of parsley root arches upwards as a small mountain, while it has sunken in parsnips. You can use the herb like leaf parsley

Location and ground

The parsley root is suitable for cultivation in the field and in the greenhouse. It likes to grow in warm, sunny locations on deep, humus rich, but not too humid soil. On soils that are heavily compacted, rocky or stunned, the tap roots are deformed.


The ideal period for sowing is the months from March to April, as the winter soil moisture can still be exploited. Later sowing brings smaller roots and thus lower harvests. It is important that the soil is first deeply loosened with a sow tooth, a digger fork or a spade. Then chop up larger lumps of soil with a cultivator and place about two liters of mature compost per square meter flat in the seedbed.
Sow the seeds in rows about 30 centimeters apart. They should be one to two centimeters deep in the ground. Cover the Smen lightly with soil and press on. Finally, cast gently and keep the soil evenly moist during germination. This takes two to four weeks for the parsley root and it germinates very irregularly. Therefore, mark the seed rows with small sticks or radishes as a starter seed and remove the weeds from the outset, because otherwise it will easily overgrow the seedlings. After germination, the plants in the row should be separated to a distance of about seven centimeters.


During the growth phase until mid-June, the parsley root needs a lot of water. Nevertheless, the floor must not be too wet - especially waterlogging must be avoided. Because the plants are not particularly competitive, the bed must continue to be regularly cleared of weeds.
The roots of parsley root are relatively hardy and can be freshly harvested even in winter with frost-free soil. However, since the leaves are not frost hardy, a non-woven tunnel or cover made of leaves, brushwood or straw is useful.

Mixed culture and crop rotation

Root parsley is very sensitive if crop rotation is not followed when choosing the location. This means that the parsley root should be grown again in the same bed after three to four years. As a preculture, avoid other umbelliferous plants such as celery, cilantro or carrots.For example, beans, peas and other legumes are well suited as precultures or mixed culture partners. Chard, beetroot and spinach can also be combined well with parsley root.

Harvest and recovery

Parsley root is one of the classic winter vegetables. The harvest starts in October and lasts until February. You can also harvest the roots completely and then store them in the cellar for the winter. Roughly free this from soil debris and cut the herb back on a short approach. The roots themselves must not be injured. You should not wash the roots either because they are less durable. Beat the parsley roots in a wooden box or a bucket of damp sand and store the containers in a cool cellar at just over zero degrees. The winter vegetables can be kept for up to six months. Engraved in paper, the parsley root holds in a dark airy place for up to three weeks.
Root parsley is closely related to the well-known leaf parsley. That's why you can harvest the herb in the summer and use it like leaf parsley. Cut off only stems from the plants, as the loss of leaves weakens the root parsley and can slow down the growth of the roots if exaggerated.

Harvest parsley root with the grave fork

Proud 15 to 20 centimeters measure the mature roots. They make the harvest easier if you loosen the ground with a digger fork

Parsley root tastes much more aromatic than leaf parsley and gives soups and stews a spicy note. Mostly they are known only from the soup green bunch - but they can do even more: cooked, fried or pureed, it is a delicious side dish to fish and meat. Salads miss a spicy kick when raw.
Brewed as a tea, root parsley can be used in inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract. Responsible for this is the Apiol, an essential oil that is included in all parsley species. Dose it carefully, because excessive amounts can lead to kidney damage. Pregnant women should not take Apiol. From the roots of parsley root you can also boil a syrup and use it as a cough suppressant.


The oldest and best-known variety of root parsley is the 'half-length'. It has smooth, medium-long, cone-shaped roots. Since 1908 it is available in the trade. It is fruitful and impresses with a pleasantly spicy taste, which is enhanced when cooking.
The parsley root 'Alba' is also very tasty. Their roots are very easy to store and even freeze.
The variety 'Konika' makes long, firm roots with a very smooth surface. You can harvest your leaves from August, the aromatic roots from late autumn.
The parsley root 'Arat' is very productive and makes long, broad-headed and very aromatic roots. It can be sown from March to September and harvested 50 to 70 days later. You can also use her herb like fresh leaf parsley.
'Lange Oberlaaer' is a very fast growing variety. It carries cone-shaped straight roots of more than 20 centimeters in length, which become evenly narrower. The 'Lange Oberlaaer' has a strong, spicy taste and is ideal for the production of mixed vegetables.

Diseases and pests

The greatest danger threatens the slowly growing parsley root by the gardener himself: Especially in the beginning it is easily overlooked in the weeds and accidentally weeded.
Yellow discolorations indicate a magnesium deficiency. If the leaves of the root parsley turn red, too much soil moisture can be the reason. But also the maggots of carrot flies can cause discoloration. If this is the case, you should immediately get the roots out of the ground and dispose of them. Narrow mesh insect screens reliably protect the plants.
Red discoloration and growth disorders can also be symptoms of nematode infestation. However, if you follow the recommended crop rotation, they should not occur. Mixed cultures with marigolds, radishes, radishes or tomatoes can also help.
Typical symptoms of aphid infestation are yellowed and ruffled leaves. Often it is sufficient if you remove the pests from time to time with a sharp stream of water from the plants.

Video Board: What is Parsley Root? / How to Make Parsley Root Chips Recipe.

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