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Coriander    

Coriandrum sativum

'Coriander' is a plant in the Coriandrum genus with a scientific name of Coriandrum sativum. The botanical name epithet for Coriander (sativum) means 'having been cultivated'.

Parsley-like leaves, with small white blooms, this plant is becoming increasingly popular in herb gardens across the world.

Many people ask – is it cilantro or coriander? In the US, cilantro is the plant itself, while coriander are what the seeds are called. In India and areas with large Indian immigrant cultures, the plant is known as “dhania”. In South Africa, it is called coriander.

The “seed” of cilantro is actually the whole fruit with two embryos inside. This means that if you plant 10 “seeds” and get 100% germination you will have 20 cilantro plants.

Coriander has lacy-fern-like leaves with little white flowers. When starting coriander, remember that it doesn’t like to be transplanted. It grows to be about 24" tall with spindly stems. It is a good herb to grow with other plants around it to help hold it up in the winds. It is a easy to grow annual, that likes lots of water.

All parts of the plants are used for culinary purposes. The seeds are used in flavouring many dishes, the leaves are added to salads, and the roots are cooked like a vegetable. Coriander is one of the most common herbs in the Middle East and also in Mexico, for all the flavoured dishes served there. The plant and flowers have an awful scent to them until they are dried. Then the seeds have a lemon-scented smell with seeds that look like peppercorns. It is a plant that needs full sun, moist soil and needs a little fertilization when planted.

The plant itself is quite interesting for as it grows, there are wide leaflets on the bottom and then smaller ferny leaves towards the top of the stem. The seeds are used in making teas used as a digestive aid, and it also has a sedative effect on some. The oil from the seeds is used to disguise the flavours of other medicines and the oil is also used in ointments for painful rheumatic joints and muscles.1

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   White. When ripe, fruit appear in these approximate colours:   India green. Leaves appear approximately as a   North Texas Green colour. Coriander grows as a biennial and is a flowering edible herb / vegetable. Being a biennial plant, it tends to grow best over the course of two years. Normally growing to a mature height of 90.0 cm (2.93 feet), Coriander grows with a forb habit. This plant tends to be ready for harvesting by late summer. Try planting Coriander if you'd like to attract bees to your garden. Some varieties of Coriander you may like to consider growing are: Slow Bolt Coriander, Santo, Cilantro oaxaca, Chinese Parsley, and Calypso.

Coriander needs a moderate amount of maintenance, so some level of previous experience comes in handy when growing this plant. Ensure that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant and keep an eye out for pests.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Coriander have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Coriander

  • Partial Sun

    +
  • Medium

Grows best in well cultivated soil in a sunny position. Cilantro is a short lived plant and is very prone to bolting – so having seeds started at different times to ensure a crop all summer long is best. Every two weeks sow the seeds so you will have a continuous cilantro crop. When flower heads appear cut them off to extend the life of the plant.

Cilantro grows best under cool conditions while hot weather encourages it to flower. Cilantro will withstand temperatures as low as 10 F°, which makes it an excellent fall crop.

Cilantro is ready to be harvested as soon as the plant is 4 – 6 inches tall, which can take 40 to 60 days after planting. It can take up to 120 days to produce mature seed (coriander).

If the older, outside leaves are harvested, the plant will continue to produce new foliage until it goes to seed.
Cilantro can also be harvested by pulling out the whole plant.
Some ethnic groups prefer to buy the plant with the roots intact.
Some Asian groups will use the roots in their cuisine – for example, in some Thai dishes.

It has been said that cilantro, once harvested, stays fresher longer with the roots left intact.

A partial sun position will ensure your plant thrives and remember to water moderately. Zone 3 to 11 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Ideally plant in loamy soil and try to keep the ph of your soil between the range of 4.9 and 8.2 as Coriander likes to be in moderately acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil. Keep in mind when planting that Coriander is thought of as hardy, so it can be safe to leave outdoors for the majority of winter (although if in doubt, using a row cover is often a good idea).

Growing Coriander from seed

This plant is best left not transplanted, so sow directly into soil outdoors after the last frost, or start indoors in peat pellets that can be directly planted without disturbing the roots.

Aim to sow 0.23 inches (0.6 cm) deep and try to ensure a gap of at least 5.85 inches (15.0 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 21°C / 70°F to ensure good germination.

Transplanting Coriander

Best not to transplant – but if you do, make sure that you don’t damage the roots when moving.

Harvesting Coriander

Cut the outer leaves first and let the smaller ones grow.You can harvest 2-3 times.The other way some people would do is just wait until they are big enough(not when flower) then they just take the whole thing out of the soil.

Note* If you pick too late it will flower and if it does then it will taste really bitter/sour.

Seed Saving Coriander

Let one of your plants flower and then when the seeds dries up you can just shake the plant a little then they will easily fall off / pick off the seeds over a paper bag.This is another way: let the seeds drop their seeds onto the soil on their own and then you can get more cilantro in just a few weeks but if you really just want the seeds just wait till they are dry and then pick the dried(the seeds should look yellowish brown color).

Companion plants for Coriander

These plants have been known to grow well alongside Coriander so consider planting:

  • Coriander loves Anise

    Repels aphids.

Repellent plants for Coriander

These plants will not grow well with Coriander so avoid planting these within close proximity:

Common Coriander problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Coriander plants:

Coriander Etymology

The word derives from Latin coriandrum, in turn from Greek κορίαννον (koriannon).3

Coriander Folklore & Trivia

Has been used as a folk medicine for the relief of anxiety and insomnia in Iran.
Its folklore includes being put into love potions, and spells, and when added to wine-it was thought of as being a great lust potion. It was thought that when an expecting lady eats coriander, the child to be will be a genious

Other names for Coriander

Cilantro, Dhania

Misspellings: culantro, Corriandrum Sativum, corriander, corriander/cilantro, coriander/cilantro, dania, dahnia

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How long does Coriander take to grow?

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Footnotes

1 Asia herbs

2 " Coriandrum Sativum" The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Arthur O. Tucker and Thomas Debaggio; Published in 2009 by Timber Press, Inc.

3 Coriander

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