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Publication #HS584

Cilantro—Coriandrum sativum L.1

James M. Stephens2

Cilantro, also known as Chinese parsley, is a form of coriander. While coriander is grown as an herb primarily for its seeds, the type of coriander referred to as cilantro is grown for the leafy portion of the plant. In Spanish-speaking areas, cilantro (also spelled culantro) usually refers to the plant, but may also refer to coriander seed. Some seed companies refer to cilantro as slow-bolt coriander.

Figure 1. 



Blue Goose, Inc.

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Cilantro tastes like parsley but has a tangier flavor. It has light green, feathery, flat leaves.


Herb growers in Florida have little trouble producing cilantro, and offer it for sale as one of the common herbs. It has a hard seed that may need to be cracked or scarified before planting.



This document is HS584, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date May 1994. Revised September 2015. Reviewed October 2018. Visit the EDIS website at


James M. Stephens, professor emeritus, Horticultural Sciences Department; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.