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CORIANDRUM sativum

Image of Coriandrum sativum

Jessie Keith

Family

Apiaceae

Botanical Name

CORIANDRUM sativum

Plant Common Name

Cilantro, Coriander

General Description

A fast-growing annual from the eastern Mediterranean, cilantro (or coriander) is used as both an herb and spice. It has long been favored as a culinary plant throughout Eurasia and is now a vital flavor in Latin American cuisines. Its leaves have a strong taste that people either love or hate. Some believe this is attributable to the sensitivity of a person’s taste buds. “Supertasters” tend to dislike cilantro while coriander is generally liked by most.

Typically sown in spring, this herb forms a clump of lobed, parsley-like leaves (cilantro) that add zest to soups, salads, beans, and other foods. Leaves are ready for harvest 4 to 7 weeks after sowing. Flat clusters of pinkish-white flowers appear on branching ferny-leaved stems in summer, followed by spherical ribbed fruits. The fragrant fruits (coriander) ground and used as a spice for curries, baked goods and sauces. Fruits ripen 2 to 3 months after sowing. The roots are used in Thai foods.

This easy-to-grow annual prefers full to partial sun and well-drained soil with average fertility. Sow the seeds in spring after the danger of frost has passed. Cilantro is best harvested before plants bloom and coriander can be harvested when the fruits are almost dry. Plants often self-sow if some mature fruits are left on the plants. Cultivars are available that are slow or quick to flower and fruit, thereby optimizing their use as cilantro or coriander. Enjoy this plant in herb gardens, containers, or vegetable gardens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Herb

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    8"-24" / 20.3cm - 61.0cm (12)

  • Width

    6"-12" / 15.2cm - 30.5cm (8)

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Eastern Europe, Mediterranean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Tan, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes