What is the difference between cilantro and parsley

Coriander and parsley are two species of aromatic plants widely used in cooking. Although they are very similar physically, the two offer a totally different flavor, although they can be used to season dishes of the same composition, such as fish.

To get rid of all kinds of doubts, in this article we are going to know what is the difference between cilantro and parsley from the point of view of its classification and, above all, to find physical and aromatic differences.


Key Differences Between Cilantro and Parsley

It is not necessary to lengthen the article further. There are several striking differences between parsley and cilantro, but some of them can be confusing, especially if we don’t have the two plants to compare.

In terms of color, size, could confuse us (especially if we don’t have a very inspired day). The smell and taste will help us a lot, but we will confirm it 100% with the appearance of its leaves.

You will see:

  • Appearance of leaves: This is the clearest way to distinguish the differences between parsley and cilantro, and is that the leaves of parsley end in a point and those of cilantro are rounded.
  • Cut: coriander is a much larger plant than parsley, reaching only 20-30 cm in height. However, this parameter will only be of interest to you to see the difference between cilantro and parsley when planted in the garden.
  • Feel: cilantro generally gives off a more pronounced and stronger aroma than parsley.
  • To taste: They have notable differences, with cilantro being stronger, fresher and more intense than parsley.
  • Color: cilantro has a slightly lighter color than parsley, although it is often difficult to distinguish whether the leaves are suffering from an almost imperceptible type of chlorosis.

As mentioned, the easiest difference to identify between cilantro and parsley is the shape of its leaves. Everything is clearer with this image:

Difference Between Cilantro and ParsleyAlthough some parts of the parsley leaf do not end in a point and are a bit more rounded, the differences are very noticeable since cilantro still has all the very rounded tips.


common name Coriander Parsley
Scientific name Coriander sativum Petroselinum crispum
Order Apiales Apiales
Family Apiaceae Apiaceae
subfamily Apioideae Apioideae
Genre coriander petroselin

As you can see in the table, they share many characters in the taxonomy, but belong to different genera.

Cooking uses of cilantro and parsley

Cilantro and parsley are commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine and in countries like Mexico and others, especially when well-seasoned meat and fish are used and with a mixture of different flavors and enhancers.


It is used to flavor and refresh any dish, such as salads, fish, sauces, meats, marinades. In general, it provides intense and fresh flavor on the dish.


With a less intense flavor than coriander, it is best used in fish, butter, vinaigrettes and sauces.

Difference Between Cilantro and Parsley When Growing Them

If we want to get out of our garden vein and plant both parsley and coriander, you should know that there are not very notable differences between the two plants in terms of cultivation.

The water and nutrient consumption it is practically the same, although coriander may require a greater need for humidity and fertilizer, since it is a larger aromatic plant.

The soil type is the same for both plants and it is affected by the same pests and diseases.

Common parsley 2 (large leaf) - ECO

Common parsley 2 (large leaf) – ECO

  • Sow all year round, although it is recommended in the spring to sow in seats or on the fly, even in pots
  • Germination is slow and requires up to 20-30 days
  • It is advisable to soak the seed 24 hours before sowing
  • Harvest 3-4 months after planting, cutting off its continuously growing stems

Batlle aromatic seeds, coriander

Batlle aromatic seeds, coriander

  • annual plant. It is used as a condiment in canned vegetables and in various dishes. Madras seeds are quite aromatic. Promotes digestion and eliminates gases
  • Sowing: In spring, it needs moderately compact and permeable soils.
  • Harvest: End of August. Use: fresh leaves as ripe seeds.

Discover other related aromatic plants

Leave a Comment