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Cilantro—Coriandrum sativum L.1

James M. Stephens 2

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. Cilantro
Figure 1.  Cilantro
Credit: Blue Goose, Inc.

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.


1. 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
2. James M. Stephens, professor emeritus, Horticultural Sciences Department; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Publication #HS584

Release Date:October 29, 2018

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Stephens, James M.


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