Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) has a pungent, citrus flavour to the leaves that some people adore and others detest. In fact, its name is actually derived from the Greek word for bug as they thought that is smelt like one that had been squashed!
Coriander grows best where the climate is hot and humid. In most parts of Western Australia, we can provide the heat that coriander loves but not the humidity so growing from autumn to spring is usually the most successful.
All parts of coriander can be used. The leaves are used in Chinese, Thai and Mexican dishes to give a spicy flavour and the chopped root can be included in dishes that require more cooking. Coriander seed, including those purchased in jars at the supermarket, is usually powdered and used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
There are several varieties of coriander. The one available in the garden centres is especially grown for it?s dark green foliage and good pungency and, in some cases, is a slow bolt strain making it longer lasting. Slow bolt coriander will grow to about 60 centimetres tall. There are also varieties grown just to harvest the seed for cooking as they have less leaf and will bolt very quickly to produce flower heads.