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Coriander

 Latin Name : Coriandrum sativum L.
 Family : Umbelliferae
 Genus : Coriandrum
 Common names : Chinese parsley or cilantro
 
Coriander

Coriander is a delicate annual herb with several branches and lacy leaves with jagged edges belonging to the carrot family. Native to South Europe and Asia, this aromatic beautiful herb is found in many parts of the world. Coriander's leaves called cilantro is used as seasoning in curries, salads and soup and its dried ripe spherical seeds mostly in powder form is slightly roasted and used as curry powder in dishes, to flavour cakes, cookies, alcoholic beverages such as gin etc. This fragrant spice also has its own medicinal properties. Oil of Coriander seeds is a valuable ingredient in perfumes.

Coriander plant grows fast to a height of 1 to 3 feet with a spread of 9 inches. It has branched pale green shoots with fan shaped bright, green leaves with jagged edges. The flowers are small and pinkish- white, formed in clusters that will ripen into coriander seeds. The aromatic seeds are round yellowish brown in colour when ripe. The strongly flavored leaves, the seeds and shoot are all edible.

Propagation and Planting

Coriander seed

The propagation of coriander is through seeds. Seeds can be sown directly in the garden or in a container or pot. Plant the seeds 1/2" to 1" deep, 2-3 feet apart in rows and rows should be 15" apart. Coriander traditionally germinates very slowly and can take as long as 21days to emerge. Ensure regular watering and that the soil is warm enough for speedy germination.

The plant prefers well drained loamy soils rich in organic matter with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Soil should not be too rich with organic matter as too much nitrogen lessens the flavour. The plant requires partial shade but fairly high temperature and sufficient water. The plant can be kept in full sun but must be shaded during the heat of day to protect against sunscald. Too much heat can damage the fruit. They need a long season to ripen, so choose an early variety. 

Coriander leaves can be picked when the plant is immature i.e only a few inches tall. Fresh tender leaves have better flavour. But seeds ripen only after a long season say about 2 1/2 months before they are ready to be picked. Harvest seeds when fruits turn brown and before they shatter. Mature or ripe fruits have a distinct spicy aroma. Leave the seed heads in a dry airy place for 2-3days. Shake off the seeds and store for later use.

Problems and Care

Several commonly occurring root diseases, such as damping off and seedling rot, can infect coriander seedlings. Symptoms include yellowing and death of newly emerged seedlings. Seeds chosen must be clean and healthy. The best protection against diseases is to choose resistant healthy varieties and to rotate crops as much as possible. It is important to use clean seed to reduce the risk of seedling diseases. Crop rotations will help to prevent the build up of diseases.

Weed build up is another problem which limits coriander production. Spray three to four times per season to control weeds. Grasshoppers are an insect pest in coriander as their heads and other body parts can contaminate the grain sample and cause downgrading or rejection. Leaf hoppers also can spread aster yellows disease which can make the plants sterile. Attempts should be made to prevent the spread of leaf hoppers into the crop area. Stems of coriander are weak and the plant may require staking.


Questions of
 Questions & Answers
 1.  Posted on : 26.4.2012  By  :  Geetha , Coimbatore View Answer (0) Post Answer
 

Sir, I would like to grow cardamom in my home garden. Is it possible to grow in this place? Where can i get the seeds or sapling?

 
 2.  Posted on : 4.9.2010  By  :  Radhika , Pune, Pune View Answer (1) Post Answer
 

What are Burdock seeds called in India and where can i get them here in India?

 
A1: 

In marathi it is called ghagra. Burdock is a plant that is related to the daisy family. It is also closely related to Echinacea, Dandelion, and Feverfew. Burdock is an herb but it is one that has been much neglected when it comes to getting attention. Back in ancient times the Greeks used the roots, the seeds, and the greens and used them for healing purposes. Throughout the Middle Ages Burdock was used for both food and medicine. Today, Burdock is still used for such things as easing liver problems and digestive disorders. It was also found to be very effective for cleansing the skin for problems such as acne and also to assist in digestive problems. To this day throughout Europe the stalk and the greens are still eaten because they hold such valuable nutrition and vitamin values. As more and more research is being done on Burdock many new and interesting discoveries are cropping up. A relationship is being examined between Burdock and its anti fungal and anti bacterial properties, and even more important it is showing signs of possibly being able to fight against tumors and could be a cancer fighting agent as well. Research has shown that since many of the cancer causing compounds are in almost all foods which are then eaten and stored in the human fat tissues that Burdock might very well be of help in fighting cancer because of the role that it can play in depleting these mutagens. Burdock is also very helpful in strengthening the immune system when it has become weakened by environmental factors. When mixed with other herbs such as Dandelion and Ginger it can be a very powerful blood purifier. The most unique fact about Burdock is that it has a very high amount of inulin which is a natural occurring chemical within the body that mimics actions of insulin. Because of this, Burdock has been successful in helping combat hypoglycemia and pre diabetes conditions. If you look for Burdock in the market you may find it called gobo instead as that is what some refer to it as. It is often combined with other vegetables or added to Tofu. Some boil Burdock while others sautי or deep fry it. Many have said it might not be such a good idea to look at Burdock before you eat it because you might change your mind about taking a bite. It looks thick, dark, and woody but indeed the opposite is true when it comes to the taste. Burdock is well recognized as a health food because it has low calorie content and a high fiber intake. It is also loaded with potassium, iron, and calcium. People claim that Burdock tastes like nothing else. In other words it has a taste all of its own. The best description that people can agree on when it comes to the flavor of Burdock is that it is sweet yet earthy, with a tender and crisp texture. It is often added to stews, soups, and stir fries. In the form of food, Burdock is highly nutritional and full of vitamins but in retrospect Burdock is also an effective herb for bringing the body back into balance.

  Posted By :Yashashri Joshi , Thane | On 14.3.2012
 3.  Posted on : 28.3.2010  By  :  Linda , Michigan View Answer (1) Post Answer
 

Can a Clove tree be bonsai or grow as house plants like bay leaf or allspice?

 
A1: 

Yes, Clove is a nice tree to plant in a house, Also you can maintain as a bonsai.

  Posted By :Rynco Orchids , trivandrum | On 17.4.2010
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