Cilantro is a versatile plant. It provides us with both an herb and a spice, and it is a beautiful addition to any garden. There just isn’t another herb that is as pretty as it is tasty.
The tiny white flowers occur in small umbels that are grouped into sets of larger umbels. The presence of the compound umbels tells us it’s a Parsley Family member.
As it grows the cilantro plant, Coriandrum sativum, takes on different leaf shapes so it is an interesting plant all the way around.
Lower leaves are wide and deeply lobed and rather robust compared to the leaves that appear higher up. The upper leaves being more deeply cut into thin linear lines make a wonderful backdrop for the dainty flowers. The flowers are held a foot and a half or two off the ground.
We use the leaves in salsa, with beans and potatoes, and on Mexican-style foods, like tortilla wraps, quesadillas, tacos, and anything else with salsa. Chop up a handful of leaves on a cutting board and add to salsa or any fresh tomato dish.
Cilantro has a very bright, clean taste. Not sure how else to describe it!
Either the flowers or the fresh scent of cilantro attracts many different pollinators like bees, wasps, ants, flies, butterflies and beetles.
(Photos taken 23 June 2015. Click photo for a larger image.)
Collect seeds to save little coriander spice once the flowering is done. Or let the seeds fall to the ground to start another generation of deliciousness.