Coriander is probably native to the Middle East and southern Europe, but has also been known in Asia and the Orient for millennia. It is found wild in Egypt and the Sudan, and sometimes in English fields. The seed is now produced in Russia, India, South America, North Africa and in Holland. It was introduced to Britain by the Romans, who used it in cookery and medicine and was Widely used in English cookery until the Renaissance.
A herbaceous hardy annual, of the parsley family, occassionally surviving into second year. Its height averages 60cm. Its erect slender stems are branching and bright green. The small pink, pale blue or white flowers are borne in compound umbels. The upper leaves are wispy and finely divided, the lower ones broad, undivided and trilobate.