I've been slacking off on gardening lately, and my cilantro plants took the opportunity to go nuts.
At first I blamed my lack of garden maintenance, but a little research told me otherwise. The Coriander plant (apparently only the leaves are called Cilantro- who knew?!) is an annual that flowers and goes to seed after three to four months. For years I've thought that I've just been terrible at keeping
Cilantro, er, Coriander, plants alive!
According to the excellent book, Golden Gate Gardening, you must resow the seeds every few weeks if you want a continuous supply of leaves from young plants. I seem to have made the rookie mistake of planting too much at once, if the explosion of flowers taking over my garden bed is any indication. In the future, I'll try staggered plantings of just one or two plants at a time.
I left a couple of the flowering plants alone to see if they'd produce seeds, but had to cut the rest back to make room for new seedlings.
All was not lost though. Both the small leaves and the flowers on these stalks are edible. Plus, the flowers make for a deliciously fragrant arrangement. Who wants flower tacos?