Difference Between Parsley and Coriander

Main Difference – Parsley and Coriander

Parsley and coriander are primarily cultivated for their edible leaves and are essential flavoring agents mainly in South Asians and Western diet. They also belong to the herbal medicine group, and they share similar morphological features. As a result, the leaf of parsley is often referred to as coriander or vice versa by many of consumers in the world. But parsley and coriander are two different plants and the botanical name of parsley is Petroselinum crispum whereas the botanical name of coriander is Foeniculum vulgare. Both parsley and coriander belong to the Apiaceae family. Coriander has a strong flavor and odor compared to parsley. Flat leaf parsley is more delicate and has a much milder flavor and aroma compared to coriander. This is the main difference between parsley and coriander. Although both parsley and coriander belong to the same family, parsley and coriander have different sensory and nutritional properties, and this article explores this difference between parsley and coriander.

What is Parsley

Parsley is a flowering plant species which belong to the carrot family. It is a biennial herb and  produces a rosette of leaves 10–25 cm long with many 1–3 cm long leaflets. It has a taproot, which is used as a food store. It is native to the Mediterranean countries but has become extensively naturalized in many parts of the world. It is considered as a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with cooking and medicinal uses. Curly leaf parsley is one of the most important food ingredients in Western and Asian cooking and also used as a food dish garnish. Root parsley is very popular in central and eastern European cooking, and it is used as a snack or a vegetable in numerous soups, stews, and simmers.

Difference between parsley and coriander

What is Coriander

Coriander, also known as Cilantro or Chinese Parsley is a flowering plant in the carrot family. It is an annual herbal plant, and its leaves and seed are the edible components. It is native to the southern Europe, northern Africa, and southwestern Asia. Coriander is considered as a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with cooking and medicinal uses. It is a delicate plant growing to 50 cm height, and the leaves are variable in shape. Leaves that appear at the base of the plant are approximately lobbed and Leaves that appear on the flowering stems are slender and feathery.               

Main Difference - Parsley and Coriander

Difference Between Parsley and Coriander

Parsley and coriander may have substantially different properties and applications. These differences may include,

Country of Origin

Parsley was originated in the central Mediterranean region.

Coriander was originated in the Western Asia and southern Europe.

Scientific Name

The scientific name of Parsley is  Petroselinum crispum.

The scientific name of Coriander is Coriandrum sativum.

Alternative Names

Parsley is also known as Garden parsley

Coriander is also known as Cilantro and Chinese parsley

Scientific Classification

Parsley:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Apiales
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • Genus: Petroselinum
  • Species: crispum

Coriander:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Apiales
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • Genus: Coriandrum
  • Species: sativum

Tree Biology

Parsley is a biennial herbal plant.

Coriander is a herbaceous annual plant growing to 50cm or more tall.

Seeds

The parsley seeds are ovoid and 2–3 mm long, with noticeable fragments at the top. Seeds are used for essential oil extraction.

Edible coriander seeds are spherical and dry schizocarp 3–5 mm in diameter. Dried coriander seeds are very aromatic and flavored spice. 

Edible Parts of the plant

Parsley leaves and roots are edible.

Coriander seeds, leaves, and roots are edible.

Allergy and Health Concerns

Parsley does not/very rarely cause an allergic reaction. However, excessive consumption of parsley may cause uterotonic effects, and thus, excessive intake of parsley should be avoided by pregnant women.

Coriander can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Nutrients

Parsley is a rich source of antioxidants such as flavonoid, luteolin, and apigenin. It is also rich in folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin A.

Coriander leaves are mainly rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, with a modest content of minerals. Seeds normally have a lower content of vitamins, but they are rich in dietary fiber and minerals.

Uses

Parsley roots and leaves are used in many food dishes preparations. Leaves are used as a herb, spice, and a vegetable. Curly leaf parsley is regularly used as a garnish. In many European and Asian countries, several dishes are served with chopped fresh green parsley sprinkled on top. Root parsley is used as a snack or a vegetable in various soups, stews, and oven dish and it is very popular in central and eastern European cooking.

Coriander is distinguished by its characteristic flavor. It is used for cooking various dishes and flavored tea production. The seeds are generally used as a spice and roasted coriander seeds are used for curry powder production such as sambar and rasam. Coriander roots are used in various Asian foods, particularly in Thai dishes such as soups or curry pastes.

In conclusion, both parsley and coriander are essential culinary spices, and both have a lot of similar applications. But they are derived from two different plant species and the entire coriander plant is used for consumption whereas only parsley leaves and roots are used for human consumption.

Difference Between Parsley and Coriander - infographic

References:

Raimo, K. Helena, B. Fred, V. Eero and Z. Antti (2007). Allergy to Coriander a Case Report. Allergy 34(5): 327–30.

Ramcharan, C. (1999). J. Janick, ed. “Perspectives on new crops and new uses – Chapter: Culantro: A much utilized, little-understood herb”. ASHS Press. pp. 506–509.

Meyer, H., Bolarinwa, A., Wolfram, G. and Linseisen, J. (2006). Bioavailability of apigenin from apiin-rich parsley in humans. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 50(3): 167–172.

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