Coriander

Coriandrum sativum
Apiaceae, Parsley Family
coriander flowers
coriander flowers
The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.
Exodus 16:31 NIV
The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin. The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into loaves. And it tasted like something made with olive oil.
Numbers 11:7-8 NIV

Cultural Information

TypeHerbs & Spices
Height24 inches
Soilvariety of soils, well-drained, workable texture
Exposurefull sun or part shade
Leavesbright green, delicate, finely cut, strongly flavorful, aromatic (known as cilantro); upper leaves near flowers are wispy, featherlike
Flowerspale pinkish, petite, umbelled, outer petals open first
Fruitseeds form cradled in former flowers, perfectly round in shape, light tan, yellowish color

Planting Tips

  • sow seeds in fall for an early spring start, coriander is an annual in all hardiness zones
  • prepare a fine soil consistency for sowing
  • sow directly in place, seedlings difficult to transplant
  • plant in part shade to enjoy more leaves (cilantro) or full sun to promote flowering and seed production
  • thin seedlings to 6 inch spacing and eat the trimmings!
  • coriander makes a good companion to other vegetable crops
  • considered a cool season herb

Garden to Table

  • enjoy coriander flowers in bouquets as a dainty filler
  • leaves make a hearty, bright green garnish
  • coriander leaves (cilantro) are a beloved salsa and guacamole ingredient, and pairs well with ginger, lime, and cumin, its parsley family cousin
  • coriander seed has a more subtle, lemony taste than the leaves
  • toast seeds before grinding with mortar and pestle for peak of flavor
  • ground coriander is available in the spice aisle; whole seeds may found at ethnic grocers
  • coriander root is also edible and a favorite in Asian cooking

Additional Resources

See Blog Posts on Coriander
This quiet form of nourishment was displayed in the Sinai Desert, when the Lord brought the Israelites breakfast bread in the dew, a light meal of manna, sweet and satisfying (Exodus 16:4, 14)...Gather your daily bread (Matthew 6:11), your encouragement for the day, from the Lord's fortifying and sweet presence.
-from the NIV God's Word for Gardeners Bible
The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin. The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into loaves. And it tasted like something made with olive oil.
Numbers 11:7-8 NIV

Photo Credits

© Westhimal | Dreamstime.com - Coriander, Cilantro Photo
©2015 Shelley S. Cramm Whole coriander seeds from an Indian market
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