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Coriandrum sativum (Coriander, Cilantro)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids > Euasterid II > Order: Apiales > Family: Apiaceae > Genus: Coriandrum

Originates from the eastern Mediterranean region and western Asia and has a long history of cultivation. Coriander leaves are used to flavour a wide variety of dishes including soups, guacamole and fish. The fruits are used as a spice in pickles, vegetable dishes, soups and marinades and are an ingredient in curry powder. They are also used in baking (e.g. bread and biscuits) and for flavouring alcoholic drinks such as Chartreuse and Izarra. The leaves have good levels of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Plants are grown from seed and harvested roots and all when young, if the leaves are to be used as a herb, or left to grow mature if the fruit are to be harvested for spice production.

Coriander also occurs as an escape in the wild in southern Africa.


  • van Wyk, B.-E. 2005. Food Plants of the World - Identification, Culinary Uses and Nutritional Value. Briza, Pretoria.


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