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Coriandrum sativum.

Botanical name:

Coriandrum sativum Linn. Umbelliferae. Coriander.

Southern Europe and the Orient. The seeds of this plant were used as a spice by the Jews and the Romans. The plant was well known in Britain prior to the Norman conquest and was employed in ancient English medicine and cookery. Coriander was cultivated in American gardens prior to 1670. The seeds are carminative and aromatic and are used for flavoring, in confectionery and also by distillers. The young leaves are put into soups and salads. In the environs of Bombay, the seeds are much used by the Musselmans in their curries. They are largely used by the natives of India as a condiment and with betelnuts and pau leaves. In Burma, the seeds are used as a condiment in curries. The ripe fruits of coriander have served as a spice and a seasoning from very remote times, its seeds having been found in Egyptian tombs of the twenty-first dynasty; a thousand or so years later, Pliny says the best coriander came to Italy from Egypt. Cato, in the third century before Christ, recommends coriander as a seasoning; Columella, in the first century of our era and Palladius, in the third, direct its planting. The plant was well known in Britain prior to the Norman conquest and was carried to Massachusetts before 1670. In China, it can be identified in an agricultural treatise of the fifth century and is classed as cultivated by later writers of the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. In Cochin China, it is recorded as less grown than in China. In India, it is largely used by the natives as a condiment. Coriander has reached Paraguay and is in especial esteem for condimental purposes in some parts of Peru. Notwithstanding this extended period of cultivation, no indication of varieties under cultivation is found.


Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.



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