Ask a Question forum→How to differentiate between Parsley and Cilantro flowers

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CT
Region: Northeast US
samman
Jun 7, 2020 8:11 AM CST
I've tried to look up pictures of both, but they both look identical. If you only have the plant flowering, with no leaves, how do you differentiate between the 2?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 7, 2020 11:12 AM CST
Welcome!

Try smelling the flowers. You may have to crush them.
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Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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NMoasis
Jun 7, 2020 1:52 PM CST
Samman, only just saw your question; I spend more time in the garden than at the computer.

Cilantro and parsley flowers are both umbels (think "umbrella"), flower heads made up of other smaller flowers on "spokes." That's as technical as I'll get.

Cilantro umbels have six spokes. Parsley umbels have a lot more.

I'm going to attempt to load front and back photos and a one of the cilantro having formed seed. Cilantro seeds are known as coriander.

Thumb of 2020-06-07/nmoasis/9e0b11
Well, I managed to get the cilantro seed head. Don't think the others are showing up. I'm better in the dirt. If I don't succeed, just google parsley flower photos and you'll see what I mean about the "spokes."


For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
CT
Region: Northeast US
samman
Jun 7, 2020 2:23 PM CST
nmoasis said:Samman, only just saw your question; I spend more time in the garden than at the computer.

Cilantro and parsley flowers are both umbels (think "umbrella"), flower heads made up of other smaller flowers on "spokes." That's as technical as I'll get.

Cilantro umbels have six spokes. Parsley umbels have a lot more.

I'm going to attempt to load front and back photos and a one of the cilantro having formed seed. Cilantro seeds are known as coriander.

Thumb of 2020-06-07/nmoasis/9e0b11
Well, I managed to get the cilantro seed head. Don't think the others are showing up. I'm better in the dirt. If I don't succeed, just google parsley flower photos and you'll see what I mean about the "spokes."




When you say spokes, do you mean the round bulbous heads? I.E. For cilantro, each stem will have a cluster of those 6 heads?
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Jun 7, 2020 2:33 PM CST
Parsly:
Thumb of 2020-06-07/nmoasis/28153f


Thumb of 2020-06-07/nmoasis/7b2b77

Cilantro:
Thumb of 2020-06-07/nmoasis/dddacd


Thumb of 2020-06-07/nmoasis/50acf2

For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Jun 7, 2020 2:42 PM CST
Samman, just posted the pix when your question appeared.

Each umbel--what looks like the flower at the end of the main stalk coming from the plant--is made up of several smaller flowers, each on its own little stalk, what I call "spokes". Do you see that?

In the photos I posted, the cilantro has six "spokes". The parsley has several ( didn't count them). However, this is curly parsley. My Italian flat-leaf isn't blooming.

To make it more confusing, if you look closely, you'll see that the little flowers ALSO are umbels and have little tiny spokes of their own. I'm NOT referring to those.

Does this help?
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Jun 7, 2020 3:00 PM CST
Those little bulbous heads in the first pic are seeds that have formed from the flowers. By spokes, I mean like the spokes of a bicycle wheel: straight lines radiating from a center point. Little stalks, also known as rays.

Try googling images of "parts of an umbel". Lots of info and informative diagrams. Interesting stuff!
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
CT
Region: Northeast US
samman
Jun 7, 2020 3:13 PM CST
nmoasis said:Those little bulbous heads in the first pic are seeds that have formed from the flowers. By spokes, I mean like the spokes of a bicycle wheel: straight lines radiating from a center point. Little stalks, also known as rays.

Try googling images of "parts of an umbel". Lots of info and informative diagrams. Interesting stuff!


To put it simply, based off the pictures, it appears parsley has a lot more of those spikes than cilantro (I assume those are the spokes). Parsley is more "spikier" than cilantro.
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Jun 7, 2020 3:25 PM CST
Yeah, you've got it! Hope all this helped.

And thanks for giving me the incentive to learn how to post photos. Smiling
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
[Last edited by nmoasis - Jun 7, 2020 3:25 PM (+)]
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