Cilantro

cilantroAn herb that is best grown in full sun and well-drained soil with a pH of 6.2 to 6.8. Cilantro occasionally has problems with aphids and whitefly, wilt, or mildew. It grows fast in the cool weather of spring and fall, creating a rosette of lacy leaves. When the weather gets warm, the plant sends up a long, lanky flower stalk bearing flat umbels of white or pink blossoms which later produce coriander seeds. Plant cilantro in a bed devoted to herbs where it can reseed, or in a corner of the vegetable garden. In mild climates, cilantro makes a handsome winter companion to pansies. The leaves can withstand a mild frost  One of the surprises that most gardeners get from cilantro is that it moves through its life cycle so quickly, especially in spring. If you live in a mild winter climate, fall and winter give the longest season to harvest. Freshly chopped cilantro is an excellent source of potassium, is low in calories, and is good for the digestive system.

History
Coriander is one of the oldest known herbs used by Man. A flavouring and medicine for over 3,000 years, it has been well documented through the ages, from ancient Sanskrit text, to the Ebers Papyrus and even the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament, where its seed was likened to the manna provided by God.
The oldest coriander was discovered in the Nahal Hemar cave in Israel, dating back over 8,000 years. Some Sanskrit texts talk of coriander’s cultivation in ancient India nearly 7,000 years ago although only a few plant fossils exist to back up the literature.

Coriandrum sativum not only has two common names, but two entirely different identities and uses.
Cilantro, originally a Spanish word, describes the first or vegetative stage of the plant’s life cycle. It is also sometimes called Chinese or Mexican parsley. After the plant flowers and develops seeds, it is referred to as Coriander.

Coriander is not one of the world’s favourite flavourings, it’s two of them. This dual purpose annual herb is grown both for its seeds or fresh young leaves. It is often referred to as Cilantro although Cilantro is actually the leaves of the plant. All parts of the plant are edible, the leaves taste very different than the seeds, similar to parsley but juicier & with a hint of citrus.

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