What's happening in the garden today?
The cilantro plants are flowering.
Some people might say the plants are finished and pull them out.
On the other hand, there are several reasons to leave them be.
First of all, cilantro has lovely lacy white flowers. It is a pretty plant.
Plus, if you let the plant mature, it will produce seeds that you can save for next year or share with fellow gardeners.
An additional benefit is that the flowers are food for pollinators, like this honey bee.
Or this flower fly.
Pollinators are important to help many different food and wild plants produce seeds. Allowing a few plants to make flowers can help them survive.
Beauty, seeds, pollinators. Letting cilantro go to seed is win-win.
Have you ever grown cilantro? Do you let it go to flower/set seeds?
Interested in learning more about how to attract and help preserve pollinators? Check out:
Several of you recognized the seeds of the coriander plant (Coriandrum sativum) as our mystery seeds last week.
The coriander plant is a bit unusual because it has two names. The green leaves are called cilantro, and the seeds are called coriander.
Coriander is an annual that grows readily from seeds. In Arizona we grow it in the winter (this sprig is from my garden).
It produces white flowers that are a food source for beneficial insects.
Coriander and cilantro are favorites herbs for a a number of cuisines, including Mexican and Indian. It can be used instead of basil to make pesto, or can be used for chutney. We like fresh cilantro in salsa.
Some people dislike the taste of cilantro intensely. This article from the New York Times investigates why that might be the case.
Do you like cilantro? What about coriander?