With its fresh, citrusy kick and medicinal properties, no garden should be without this treasured herb.
As we throw coriander leaves into our guacamole this summer, we are unlikely to pause and congratulate it for being one of the most ancient herbs around. This remarkable plant, which some people claim tastes like soap, has been cultivated for 3000 years, and is now popular in most cuisines around the world.
The seeds are a must-have for curries and the spice base garam masala. The roots are popular in Thai cooking and the freshly picked leaves are divine served with salads and Mexican food.
Over the years, we have used coriander for many medicinal purposes as it is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, a good digestive, an expectorant and an anti-fungal. The orange-scented seeds can be chewed as a breath freshener, and coriander essential oil is great for muscular aches and pains.
Sow seeds direct in light, well-drained soil in full sun in winter and in light shade in summer. The key to having a constant supply of coriander at the ready is to sow seed at fortnightly intervals, because coriander loves to bolt to seed in hot weather. Let it, then collect the seeds for next season.