Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Coriander, Cilantro, Chinese Parsley
Coriandrum sativum 'Delfino'

Family: Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Coriandrum (kor-ee-AN-drum) (Info)
Species: sativum (sa-TEE-vum) (Info)
Cultivar: Delfino

One vendor has this plant for sale.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


2 positives
2 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MunkeboFarm On Oct 7, 2013, MunkeboFarm from Manor, TX wrote:

I find the flavor to be the same as traditional cilantro. The best quality of this cilantro is the fact that it lasts forever in the refrigerator. If you've ever experienced how fast cilantro goes bad you can appreciate this quality. Delfino also grows larger than standard cilantro, needs less water and is slower to bolt. I believe the fern quality of the leaves help it in all the a fore mentioned situations.

Negative kitty_rankin On Jun 26, 2011, kitty_rankin from Madison, WI wrote:

I have Delfino in my garden. This is the first time I have planted it and it the dill-like foliage has none of the distinctive cilantro flavor. It tastes more like a strange version of parsley. I am going to keep it to see if I can harvest some seeds, although I rarely use coriander in recipes. I will report back if my plants end up producing seeds. Meanwhile I am going to plant some real cilantro.

Neutral tukeemike On Apr 21, 2011, tukeemike from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Ok folks. Do not be deceived! Delmonico cilantro is nothing more than cilantro that is flowering. The leaves change from the flat palm shape to a dill like form. In another two weeks you will not find it in the desert southwest. You do not need to buy 'special' seed. if you plant cilantro in the fall, you will get delmonico in the late spring - early summer. Sure it is still edible but nothing out of the ordinary.

Positive teachnkids On Jul 28, 2008, teachnkids from Johannesburg
South Africa (Zone 9b) wrote:

I had hugh success growing this plant in containers. It grew around 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall and was very easy to grow. My plants have a white flower. I do agree with the two previous comments though, it is not the plant you want if you are growing it solely or primarily for its leaves. It does produce many bloosoms and thus a lot of coriander, but the leaves are very delicate and not the typical cilantro leaves. Still, I have enjoyed picking and using some of the fern-like leaves in Mexican dishes and as garnishes. They have a great smell and flavor. My 2 year old son loves picking them and eating them off the plant.

The leaf part of this plant is called cilantro and is an herb, while the seeds are called coriander and are a spice. All parts of the plant are edible, including the roots (as in some Thai dishes), but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the most common used for cooking. The flowers can also be eaten or used as eatable, decorative garnishes.

Coriander grows best in moderately rich, well-drained soil and can easily be grown from seeds. It is best to plant in partial shade where summers are hot. Sow where the plants are to grow--in the early spring, or start plants indoors in a cool location (55 degrees F night temp.)

A factor that dictates the quality of flavor in the leaves is the time when cilantro is harvested. If its roots consistently stay at a temperature above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the herb will quickly bolt, causing its leaves and stems to yield a bitter flavor and become quite chewy. At this point, made evident by the blooms/seeds, it is practical to harvest only the coriander seeds, since the stems and leaves are no longer enjoyable as food.

To use the leaves, separate cilantro leaves from stems. Chop leaves finely before adding to your dish. The leaves will remain beautiful and fresh if you use them to garnish individual plates.

The fresh cilantro herb is best stored in the refrigerator in airtight containers. The leaves do not keep well and should be eaten quickly. However, they can be washed, patted dry, and stored in the freezer for up to two months. Just chop and add to dishes like you would fresh cilantro leaves.

The dry fruits (seeds) are known as coriander or coriandi seeds. They are usually dried but can be eaten green. If the fruit is obtained in its natural form, it can later be dried in the sun. When grinding at home, it can be roasted or heated on a dry pan briefly to enhance the aroma before grinding it in an electric grinder or with a mortar and pestle; ground coriander seeds lose their flavour quickly in storage and are best ground as only needed. For optimum flavour, whole coriander seed should be used within six months, or stored for no more than a year in a tightly sealed container away from sunlight and heat. Ground coriander acts as a thickener. It can also be eaten roasted as a snack (called dhana dal).

Negative rebecca101 On Mar 15, 2008, rebecca101 from Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I didn't like this one either. It was billed as a refined version of cilantro, with more intense flavor and fern-like leaves... In reality it's a cilantro that has sparse ferny foliage, more like dill than cilantro, except without all the branching stems of dill. The result is very little actual cilantro per plant - and I didn't find the flavor particularly intense or interesting. Classic is best - this one is a waste of space.

Negative BobbyWong On Jul 7, 2007, BobbyWong from Gibsonia, PA wrote:

This plant wants to bolt like there's no tomorrow. I wish that I had grown a more traditional variety of cilantro this season, because I have gotten virtually no results out of this one. I have watched it double in size after a rainstorm and then start flowering the next day.

This variety grows like crazy, but despite my best efforts it will flower immediately when I cut it back. I only grow a couple cilantro plants every year for salsa purposes, so I want them to produce leafy cilantro. I think that this is really something that the coriander people might be more interested in.

No matter how much I cut this thing back, it keeps wanting to grow upwards. I really really want a cilantro shrub and this is not it. The worst is that it has started rotting around some of the areas where I have cut it. The plants appear to be halfway healthy, but I have yet to harvest even a tiny bit of usable cilantro. Everything I get is either fungusy, blighted, or flavorless from growing too fast.

Again, I wish that I had grown a more traditional cilantro this year.

Neutral dmj1218 On May 3, 2006, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

All-American Selections Winner. Same traditional cilantro flavor, but with fern-leaf, open leaves that more closely resemble dill. As well as traditional cilantro uses, its also suitable as a garnish.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Santa Clara, California
Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
Valencia, Pennsylvania
Manor, Texas
Madison, Wisconsin (2 reports)

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