Commonly called Chinese parsley. It is native to southern Europe and western Asia, where it is an annual. It is a 'cool' weather annual, so it flourishes in temperatures less than 80 degrees F, and once summer temperatures increase beyond 90 degrees F the plant quickly bolts, turns yellow, shoots up feathery bitter flavored foliage and dies. Sound familar? Plant cilantro in an afternoon shade location, plant in rich soil, and apply ample amounts of fertilizer, especially nitrogen, to extend its life. It will still be difficult to keep alive in summer if you live in a hot climate, so plan on planting in early spring and again in early fall for 2 crops.
Cilantro is used as a culinary plant in cuisines of many countries, including Mexico, many countries in Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Central America, Africa, and South America. Both the leaves and the seeds are used. The seeds are more often used medicinally, being used for flatulence, bloating and cramps.