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Coriandrum sativum L.

Family Name: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Common Name: Coriander, Cilantro, Chinese parsley, 香菜, 芫荽
Semi-Shade Moderate Water Fruit & Vegetable Herb & Spice Fragrant Annual Herbaceous


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Annual
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 45 cm to 60 cm
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 30 cm to 45 cm


Native Distribution Mediterranean region
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Highland / Montane
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Annual herb up to 0.6 m tall.
Foliage The young, upper leaves have a lacy, fine texture and are smaller than the lower leaves. The upper leaves are ovate with lobes deeply incised almost to the midrib. Leaf margin is lined with minute teeth of irregular size. Leaf size is up to 14 cm long and 8 cm wide.
Flowers About 3-9, asymmetrical flowers are arranged in flat-topped clusters known as umbellules. Narrowly obovate, white, pink or light purple petals are longer on the outside of the umbellule than towards the inside (5-6 mm long compared to 1-3 mm long).
Fruits Dry fruits are small and round (3 mm wide). They are known as schizocarps and they split into smaller segments.
Cultivation This plant does not grow well in humid, wet climates. When exposed to hot weather, it is likely to quickly flower and then die.  In Singapore, it is better to grow this herb in well-drained soil where it receives morning sun but is protected from intense afternoon sun. Seeds may take 8 to 14 days to germinate. Depending on varieties, the plant may take 45 to 75 days to reach suitable harvest size. Once the plants reach 20 cm tall or the desired size, they are ready for harvesting. Harvest 5 to 7 cm of the young shoots to allow the plant to grow new leaves for continual harvesting.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits, Edible Leaves, Edible Stems, Edible Seeds, Edible Roots)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable;Herb and Spice : In North America, the leaves and stems are known as cilantro, while the seeds are called coriander. In other parts of the world, both the shoots and seeds are known as coriander. The shoots are rich in vitamins, while the seeds are a good source of minerals. In South Asian cuisine, the leaves are often used either raw or added to the dish immediately before serving. Coriander roots have a stronger flavour than the leaves and are commonly used in Thai dishes. Coriander seeds are an ingredient in garam masala and Indian curries.)
Medicinal ( In folk medicine, the seeds are applied as a poultice to treat rheumatism and joint pain.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Fragrant (Foliage)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses General, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden
Plant & Rootzone Preference or Tolerance Remarks Not respond well to high humidity.

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Serrulate, Pinnately Lobed / Pinnatifid
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Acute

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Pink, White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Flower Symmetry Asymmetrical
Flowering Habit Monocarpic, Short-lived(Annual & Biennial)
Flower Colour(s) Remarks Lavender
Inflorescence Type Remarks Umbellule

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Yellow / Golden



Image Repository



Master ID 31545
Species ID 5944
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 August 2021.