Latin Name: Coriandrum sativum
Item #: 163B
CORIANDER - for flavoring pickles
Annual Approx. 1,900 seeds per oz/28 g
CULTURE: Although seeds can be started indoors fairly easily, coriander does not respond too well to transplanting. For best results indoors, germinate seeds in March in total darkness for 10-14 days @ 60°F/15°C. Transplant outdoors in May. It prefers light, warm, dry soil, full sun and is usually sown outdoors in late April during a dry spring or in May if spring is unusually wet. Seeds germinate well, sow thinly in rows 0.5 in/13 mm deep 10 in/25 cm apart, cover seeds completely and firm soil gently. When plants are about 3 in/7 cm high, thin plants to 10 in/25 cm apart. Weed control is quite important in the early stages as the tender rooted coriander struggles to establish itself. Plants attract swarms of pollinating insects and although usually treated as an annual in northern climates, it should survive for 4 or 5 years in milder regions.
HARVEST: By mid August plants should be reaching maturity and will start to form small seed umbels which must be harvested as soon as umbels turn light brown, to prevent reseeding. The leaves may be harvested anytime from early July until frost, but you will find that they have an offensive smell until mid August when the plant has set seed. Although the plants have attractive lacey pyrethrum-like foliage and beautiful pinkish white flowers, it is an odorous plant and not recommended for the flower garden. Immature foliage loses its bad smell as it dries, mature leaves are pleasantly fragrant. It does not grow well near fennel, but likes caraway or anise as companions.
USES: Chopped leaves are good in salads. The ripe seeds are the most important and most useful part of the plant. Small seed fruits are 1/8 in/3 mm in diameter and will part into halves when the stem is dried (cut seed stalks as fruits turn light brown and store in a paper bag until dry). Commercially used for flavoring pickles and sausage. Dried foliage smells like sage and lemon peel.