Cultivar names of Parsley (Petroselinum crispum crispum)
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Eva
Posted on: October 27, 1999

I would like to order a pound of P. crispum crispum.

In your 1997 herb catalogue there are three different types of parsley listed under the same species name. This is causing me some confusion and I do not know which sub-species is the right one.

The three varieties of curled parsley we carry are all the same sub species, but are different strains selected and linebred for slightly different characteristics. By always choosing as parent plants those plants that most strongly show the characteristics we are looking for- such as heat tolerance- the next generation of plants will be more uniform in the selected characters. By repeating that strategy for several generations, the result is a very uniform population in regards to those characters. These selected strains are then given names to identify them, such as ‘Forest Green’. Such cultivar names are written under single quotation marks to identify them as cultivar names. The really confusing part is that such cultivar names may refer to the copies of a single plant produced by some vegetative propagation process such as cuttings or meristematic reproduction of plants or to a slightly varying seed produced population that is uniform in only some of their characters. Only the context can tell you the difference!

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