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Coriandrum sativum - L.

Common Name Coriander - Dhania - Cilantro, Coriander
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness 2-11
Known Hazards The plant can have a narcotic effect if it is eaten in very large quantities[201]. Powdered coriander and oil may cause allergic reactions and photosensitivity. Use dry coriander sparingly if suffering bronchial asthma and chronic bronchitis [301]
Habitats Waste places and arable land, often by the sides of rivers[4, 9].
Range S. Europe. Naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Coriandrum sativum Coriander - Dhania - Cilantro, Coriander

Coriandrum sativum Coriander - Dhania - Cilantro, Coriander
http://www.hear.org/starr/Coriaria microphylla


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Coriandrum sativum is a ANNUAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Bifora loureiroi, Coriandropsis syriaca, Coriandrum globosum, Selinum coriandrum

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Condiment  Oil

Leaves - raw or cooked. They are used as a flavouring in salads, soups etc[2, 4, 21, 37, 61] and the fresh leaves are probably the most widely used flavouring herb in the world[268]. The leaves have an aromatic flavour[183]. It is foetid according to another report[4], whilst another says that the fresh leaves have a strong bedbug-like smell[244].. The leaves should not be eaten in large quantities[132]. The fresh leaves contain about 0.012% oxalic acid and 0.172% calcium[240]. Seed - cooked. It is used as a flavouring in many dishes including cakes, bread and curries, it is also widely used to flavour certain alcoholic liquors[2, 4, 5, 21, 27, 37]. The fresh seed has a disagreeable and nauseous smell, but when dried it becomes fragrant, the longer it is kept the more fragrant it becomes[4, 132]. Plants yield about 1¾ tonnes per acre of seed[4]. The root is powdered and used as a condiment[161]. An essential oil from the seed is used as a food flavouring[21, 46, 61, 105]

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antidiarrhoeal  Antihalitosis  Appetizer  Aromatherapy  Aromatic  Carminative  Depurative  Expectorant  
Narcotic  Stimulant  Stomachic

Coriander is a commonly used domestic remedy, valued especially for its effect on the digestive system, treating flatulence, diarrhoea and colic[9, 244]. It settles spasms in the gut and counters the effects of nervous tension[254]. The seed is aromatic, carminative, expectorant, narcotic, stimulant and stomachic[4, 9, 21, 46, 147, 178, 201, 238]. It is most often used with active purgatives in order to disguise their flavour and combat their tendency to cause gripe[4, 244]. The raw seed is chewed to stimulate the flow of gastric juices and to cure foul breath[240, 268] and will sweeten the breath after garlic has been eaten[254]. Some caution is advised, however, because if used too freely the seeds become narcotic[4]. Externally the seeds have been used as a lotion or have been bruised and used as a poultice to treat rheumatic pains[254, 268]. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Appetite stimulant'[210]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Coriandrum sativum (Coriander - Dhania) for dyspepsia, loss of appetite (see [302] for critics of commission E).

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Essential  Fuel  Fungicide  Insecticide  Oil  Repellent

An essential oil from the seed is used as a food flavouring, in perfumery, soap making etc[21, 46, 61, 74, 105]. It is also fungicidal and bactericidal[238]. The growing plant repels aphids[14, 20, 201]. A spray made by boiling of one part coriander leaves and one part anise seeds in two parts of water is very effective against red spider mites and woolly aphids[201]. An oil from the seed is used for making soap[74]. The report does not make it clear if the essential oil or the fixed oil is used[K]. The seed contains about 20% fixed oil[240], this has potential for industrial use in Britain, it could become an alternative to oilseed rape though the oil content is a bit on the low side at present (1995). The oil can be split into two basic types, one is used in making soaps etc, whilst the other can be used in making plastics[234]. The dried stems are used as a fuel[74].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a warm dry light soil[4, 27, 37]. Plants grown mainly for their seeds do well in partial shade, but when growing for the seed or essential oil a sunny position is preferred[238]. The plants dislike constant moisture[14] or too much nitrogen[200]. Another report says that coriander grows best when a cool damp spring is followed by a hot dry summer[238]. Coriander tends to run quickly to seed if the plants are too dry at the seedling stage[238]. Plants tolerate a pH in the range 4.9 to 8.3. Coriander is often cultivated, both on a garden scale and commercially, for its edible seed[4, 142], there are some named varieties[183]. The plant is fast-growing, ripening its seed without difficulty in Britain and it seems to be free of pests and diseases[234]. The seeds have been used medicinally and as a food flavouring since ancient times, and were introduced into Britain by the Romans[244]. In the Middle Ages they were added to love potions because of their reputation as aphrodisiacs[244]. The plants flowers are very attractive to pollinating insects[14, 18, 201]. Coriander is in general a good companion plant in the garden, helping to repel aphis and carrot root fly[238]. It grows well with anise, improving the germination rate when the two species are sown together[14, 18, 20, 238], but it grows badly with fennel, where it acts to reduce the seed yield of the fennel[14, 18, 20, 201, 238]. Coriander also grows particularly well with dill and chervil[201].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow April in situ[1, 37]. The seed is slow to germinate and so on a garden scale it can also be sown in March in a cold frame. Sow a few seeds in each pot and then plant them out when they are growing away strongly in May[4]. The seed can also be sown in situ in the autumn[1]. Autumn sown plants will grow bigger and produce more seed.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

Dr. med. veronika Rampold   Mon Dec 26 2005

Coriander was extremely simple to grow in my garden. I just threw a handful of coriander seed, from the spice cupboard, on a spot of sunny sandy soil and it grew withoút further care, even resistant to the masses of slugs we GErmans have. After four months seeds were ripe, I let them reseed themselves and next year the amount of ripe seed yielded from the resowing was 400 grammes, from one and a half square meters. Besides, the whole place now is again covered densely by young re-seedlings of third generation... I think the plant will become a weed in my garden, as borage and nigella did. Make it a weed in your gardens and you will always have a most harmless digestive and good spice, usable nearly in same way as Caraway. What I do not understand is that Orientals use the fetid coriander leaves too. Their smell, to me, is very repulsive.

Anni Dixon   Tue Jun 12 2007

Anni Dixon/http://www.gentlehealer.co.uk/helpyourselftohealth The previous notes about coriander have been useful for me. I am growing it this year for the first time, because I have read that it assists the removal of mercury from the body, including the brain, and I have a long term, difficult to treat, condition of mercury poisoning. I am using the leaves and stems, currently in large quantities (a large handful of fresh-thinned coriander each day) as seeds got from the http://www.realseeds.co.uk Real Seeds club, based in Wales, and they germinated quickly and really well, therefore I am thinning them, but not sure whether I really need to do this. I will allow them to seed themselves. By the way, even if writers on this site find the leaves unpalatable, they are eaten in large quantities in Greece and Turkey and other Mediterranean countries, who highly value their nutritional value.


Kiranmayee Ph.D.,   Fri Apr 25 2008

Does Coriandrum have cold tolerant gene? If so, what it that?

deepa   Thu Aug 7 2008

sir, i am very much interested in doing reseaech in coriandrum. pls esnd me the relevant journal which is very useful to me.

rajesh brc   Sun Nov 9 2008

i want to do research in coriandrum can u pls send me some uses and pharmacological acivity i can do pls urgent send to me my mail [email protected]

Alicia Zuñiga   Tue Feb 10 2009

Me gustaria saber si me pueden propiciar articulos cientificos sobre el cilantro respecto en su produccion con tratamiento de humus liquido de lombriz

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