parsley, Mediterranean aromatic herb ( Petroselinum crispum or Apium petroselinum ) of the carrot family, cultivated since the days of the Romans for its foliage, used in cookery as a seasoning and garnish. In ancient times parsley was also used for chaplets and as a funeral decoration. Hamburg parsley is a variety grown for its edible root. Parsley is widely cultivated throughout the United States, chiefly in Louisiana. Parsley is often eaten because of its high content of vitamin C. Parsley is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Apiales, family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae).