Cilantro and parsley are two unrelated plants that resemble each other physically and how they grow, but differ vastly when it comes to taste. Today we can go over some of the info about both and how you can get started growing your own.
Let's start with cilantro (Coriandrum sativum). In the US we call the leaves of this plant cilantro and it's seeds coriander. It is a cool season annual herb which is best grown between October and March (AKA, now!). Once daytime temps reach 82 degrees the plant bolts to seed and leaves become finer, fewer and more mildly flavored. The seed can be used green or dried while the leaves are best fresh. People who have a certain somewhat rare gene (OR6A2) taste cilantro in a different and unpleasant manner: it tastes to them like soap!
Italian Flat Leaf Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), it's not named after Crispin Glover! This cool season herb is best treated as a winter annual in Houston. It can be planted any time from September to March. It's great as an ingredient for tabbouleh and pestos. In Central and Eastern Europe, the root is also eaten; it resembles a white carrot! If you plant it in a shady corner of your garden it will produce longer into summer.
Now is the time to get started with these flavorful herbs!