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Name: Coriandrum sativum
cool temperatures - 40 to 75 degrees are best
Time: Temps above 75 degrees
wide range of soils, well drained
The spice known as coriander is the seed of Coriandrum sativum and cilantro
is the fresh leaf of that same plant, harvested early in its growing phase.
It is a hardy annual, meaning that it completes its growing cycle in one year
and it can be sown directly in the garden in early spring.
This member of the carrot family is also referred
to as Chinese Parsley and Coriander. It is actually the leaves (and stems) of
the Coriander plant. Cilantro has a very pungent odor and is widely used in
Mexican, Caribbean and Asian cooking. The Cilantro leaves look a bit like flat
Italian parsley and in fact are related. Cilantro has delicate fern-like foliage,
flat clusters of pinkish white flowers and aromatic seeds. Leaves have unique
flavor that is pleasing to many people. Grown for foliage and very aromatic.
Cilantro is very attractive to butterflies, self-sows freely. Grows to 2 feet
After planting it tends to bolt to seed very quickly when the weather warms
up. The best way to get both cilantro and the seeds of coriander, is to set
aside an area in your garden and do succession sowings of seeds - starting early
in the spring and continuing to mid-June. Coriander does not do well during
the hot summer months - so let the last sowing go directly to seed. Then if
you really enjoy cilantro, start sowing seeds again in September and do succession
sowing until October. If you let seeds ripen and fall, your next year's early
crop will be sown for you by Mother Nature.
Fresh cilantro does not keep well, and the flavor of dried is not comparable.
To store fresh coriander, pick out any wilted leaves, and put it in a jar with
water like a bunch of flowers. Cover the leaves with a plastic bag and put the
whole thing in the refrigerator. Change the water every two days or so, picking
out any wilted leaves when you do.
Additional InformationHerb Plants Info Page