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Small Coriandrum sativum flower clusters with a fly on top of one white flower
Coriandrum sativum
Coriandrum sativum (Cilantro/Coriander)

An annual herb native to regions spanning from Southern Europe and Northern Africa to Southwestern Asia. It has become widely cultivated and naturalized across the world in a variety of climates and conditions. The plant is recognized for its lush green leaves, umbel-shaped clusters of small white or pale pink flowers, and globular, ribbed seeds. Cilantro is notable for its dual purpose in culinary applications; both its leaves and seeds are used extensively in cooking. The leaves provide a fresh, citrusy flavor, often described as a mix between parsley and citrus, while the seeds, known as coriander, impart a warm, spicy, and slightly citrusy taste. Beyond its culinary uses, cilantro has been attributed with various medicinal benefits, including digestive, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering properties. Despite its popularity, cilantro has a polarizing taste, with some individuals perceiving its flavor as soapy due to a genetic trait affecting taste perception.  Photographed in the department of Quindio, Colombia.

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