Friday, May 28, 2010

Cilantro: Flowering Too Soon in Spring

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)

These cilantro plants were just seedlings two months ago... and guess what?  They are already flowering.  As I said before, it is always a bad news when any crop that is grown for their leaves starts to flower because it means that growth begins to shift from foliage development to the seed production.  Well, for cilantro it's not all bad news.  So you stop getting the leaves for your salsa but soon you will have coriander seeds for your other recipes.  The seeds coming from cilantro are the same as coriander.  

I am always fascinated by photoperiodism in plants because I grew up and did all my previous research work in the Philippines where the difference between the shortest day and longest day of the year is only about one hour.  I remember my Plant Breeder-friend had to extend the daylength by providing light to the potatoes so that they would flower.   Without some kind of daylength manipulation some plants grown along the equator will not flower because of the lack of the much needed flowering stimulus - the critical daylength. 

Have you ever been frustrated with some plants in your yard because they are flowering sooner than you expected?

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