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Cryptotaenia japonica, commonly called Japanese parsley, Japanese mitsuba, is an herbaceous perennial with foliage that somewhat resembles a flat-leaved parsley. It is native to moist woodland areas and ditches in eastern Asia. Branching stems of ternate compound leaves (mitsuba means three leaves in Japanese) with serrated ovate segments (each to 2-4" long) typically grow in an upright clump to 12-18" tall and as wide. Small white flowers in umbels bloom in summer on stems rising about 6" above the foliage. Seeds ripen in August-September. Plants are frequently used as culinary herbs in Asian cuisine. Leaves and stems are considered to have a parsley/celery-like flavor and may be added to soups, salads or other hot/cold dishes as a flavoring and/or garnish. Roots can be blanched and sauteed.

Wild Japanese Parsley

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