Life.Ecology.Food.®

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  • Perennial green leaf
  • Herb
  • Food forest
  • Edimentals

Mitsuba (Japanese parsley)

Cryptotaenia japonica

A pleasant tasting, shade loving edible perennial herb, used in Japanese cuisine for centuries.

PLANT TYPE Herb

PLANT HABIT Perennial

USES Culinary, Ornamental

DESCRIPTION

A shade loving edible perennial herb, used in Japanese cuisine for centuries. Mitsuba means “three leaves” in Japanese and has lovely trefoil leaves growing on long tender leaf stalks. Mitsuba has an unusual pleasant flavour akin to celery combined with parsley.

Prefers moist, shady conditions in well drained soil. It’s winter hardy in the UK and also self seeds well so one established is a reliable kitchen garden plant. Can be grown as a cut-and-come-again herb.

It’s a quite attractive herb and can be used as an “edimental” in forest and shade gardens.

In Asian cuisine, Japanese parsley is used as a seasoning, a potency tonic, and the leaves and roots are cooked as a vegetable while sprouts are eaten in salads. All parts of the plant are edible from roots to seed.

RECOMMENDED LOCATION Pot, Kitchen garden, Forest garden, Ornamental garden

Aspect Shade, Moist shade, Moist partial shade

Height 30 to 60cm

Spread 20cm

Hardiness Hardy in UK WInter

Management and care Self seeds well and is happy in pots but is very much a shade loving plant.

Origin/history

Mitsuba is in the Apiaceae (carrot) family and grows wild in the forests of Japan, China and Korea and has been used in Japan for many centuries to garnish foods. 
Mitsuba is also purported to bring good luck to newlyweds. At many traditional Japanese weddings a bunch of mitsuba stems are tied in knots and used to decorate dishes. This plant also gets put into flower arrangements including the bridal bouquet. 

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Mitsuba (Japanese parsley)