Description. Coriander is a herbaceous annual plant, it grows 20-70 cm in height, has a thin fusiform root. The stem of the plant is erect, round, finely-striated, bare, with branching in the upper part. Leaves are consecutive sheathing, radical leaves are long-petioled, tripartite, notched-toothed at the edge, middle and upper leaves are sessile. Inflorescence is in the form of a complex umbel with three to five rays. Flowers are small, pink or white.
Coriander blossoms in June - July. The fruit of the plant is a globose diachenium with ribs of brown or grayish-yellow color, 2-5 mm in diameter, ripens in August-September.
Homeland of the coriander is considered to be northern Africa and West Asia. Its wild forms are common in southern Europe and Asia Minor. The crop is cultivated in the central chernozem and southeastern regions of the European part of Russia, the North Caucasus and Ukraine. As a medicinal raw material the crop was introduced in Egypt, Romania, Morocco, India, China, Japan, North America.
Fertile, light sandy loam or loamy soils are the most suitable for coriander cultivation.
For continuous intake of greens, the sowing begins in spring, 2-3 weeks before the middle of summer. Crops seeding should be provided with moisture, as the plant quickly passes to stalking in dry soil.
The fruits of coriander serve as medicinal raw materials, essential oil is obtained from them. They are recommended to be collected according to their ripening in dry weather, to be dried in the usual way, and the greens must be dried on air during the flowering period for long-term storage, the shelf life is up to 4 years.
Coriander flowers and grass are also harvested.
The fruits of coriander contain 0.7-1% of essential oil (sometimes up to 1.2%) containing linalool (60-70%), geraniol (up to 5%), borneol, terpinolene, fellandren, cymol, pinene, decylaldehyde, decyl acid. Fruits of this plant also contain fatty oil (up to 20%), which contain glycerides of fatty acids (92%) and unsaponifiable substances (up to 7.5%), protein substances (11-17%), alkaloids, vitamins A and C (up to 140 mg for every 100 g), vitamins B1 and B2 and lots of potassium.
Application. Coriander is grown to produce seeds (fruits) and direct greens. Fruits are used in cooking for food flavoring without oil extraction and for essential oil obtaining. In addition, fatty oil is extracted from its fruits, and its waste (meal) serves as a high-quality fodder for livestock.
Coriander is also cultivated as an essential oil plant. Essential oil is extracted from fruits, and it is very popular in the perfume, cosmetic, food and medical industry, seeds are used for food flavoring, in cooking.
What is important, coriander is an excellent nectariferous plant: with abundant flowering the collection of honey can reach 400 kg / ha or more.