Coriander is an ANNUAL that grows to 50cm with broadly lobed very fragrant leaves at the base of the plant turning feathery and slender higher on the flowering stems. Flowers are borne in small umbels and followed by round seeds.
It prefers a moist soil in semi-shaded positions as full sun and dry soil leads to bolting. It is a world-renowned flavouring as a fresh herb – cilantro, or dried spice – coriander seeds. It also has remarkable medicinal qualities.
Love it or hate it, the preference for coriander is based on genes, while some find it pleasant and aromatic others believe it smells like bugs.
Used fresh in many world cuisines, notably Asian. Seeds are flavouring for breads, curries, alcoholic liquers etc.
Valued as a digestive aid, it is rich in vitamins and minerals, and calms nervous tension. Seeds are often added to active purgatives in order to disguise their flavour and combat their tendency to cause gripe.
The plant is fungicidal and bactericidal. Growing plants may repel aphids, woolly aphids and red spider mites.