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Coriandrum sativum, Coriander - Santo, organic

£0.79

Standard early season variety for leaf production. Resists running to seed.

The plant is fast-growing, ripening its seed without difficulty in Britain and it seems to be free of pests and diseases. The seeds have been used medicinally and as a food flavouring since ancient times, and were introduced into Britain by the Romans. In the Middle Ages they were added to love potions because of their reputation as aphrodisiacs.

The plants flowers are very attractive to pollinating insects.

Coriander is in general a good companion plant in the garden, helping to repel aphis and carrot root fly. It grows well with anise, improving the germination rate when the two species are sown together, but it grows badly with fennel, where it acts to reduce the seed yield of the fennel. Coriander also grows particularly well with dill and chervil.

Coriander is a commonly used domestic remedy, valued especially for its effect on the digestive system, treating flatulence, diarrhoea and colic.

Sow April in situ. 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. The seed can also be sown in situ in the autumn. Autumn sown plants will grow bigger and produce more seed.

Prefers a warm dry light soil. 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. The plants dislike constant moisture or too much nitrogen. Another report says that coriander grows best when a cool damp spring is followed by a hot dry summer. Coriander tends to run quickly to seed if the plants are too dry at the seedling stage.

Edible uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked. They are used as a flavouring in salads, soups etc and the fresh leaves are probably the most widely used flavouring herb in the world. The leaves have an aromatic flavour. It is foetid according to another report, whilst another says that the fresh leaves have a strong bedbug-like smell.. The leaves should not be eaten in large quantities. The fresh leaves contain about 0.012% oxalic acid and 0.172% calcium.

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. 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. Plants yield about 1¾ tonnes per acre of seed. The root is powdered and used as a condiment.

An essential oil from the seed is used as a food flavouring.

http://practicalplants.org/wiki/Coriandrum_sativum

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