Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), growing beneath an overhanging structure, at the boundary wall of the ground floor car park of a multi-unit residential building constructed c. 2007. The plant may be reasonably prevalent locally; I have also observed it growing out of the architectural front garden beds on new build townhouses nearby. The Latin/Greek etymology of the name ‘Parsley’ (Petroselinon in the Greek) translates appropriately as ‘Rock Celery’, describing rather well it’s cryptic position and enormous proportions in Melbourne’s back lanes and scruffy margins.

Brought to Australia as a culinary herb, Parsley has proven capable of absconding from cultivation here. Although apparently a relatively occasional weed in Victoria, it can be of environmental impact in brackish coastal situations (eg. Wilsons Prom, Mallacoota, Mud Islands) where it is competitive with native celeries and other salt-tolerant herbs. It is also likely to be underrecorded in urban situations.

The feeding beetle in frame 4 is a Varied Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus verbasci), a household pest (and European weed) that also has a non-anthropocentric lifecycle: its larvae feed on natural fibres collected in birds’ nests, while the adults sustain themselves on plant nectar and pollen (and seem to be preferential subscribers of carrot family blossoms like these ones and last week’s hemlock).

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Search for information about Petroselinum crispum in the Flora of Victoria

View information and occurrences of Petroselinum crispum on the Atlas of Living Australia

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