The coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is an annual plant of the carrot or parsley family, growing about 40 to 50 cm (16 to 20 in.) high, with parsleylike leaves and pink or white flower clusters. The fruit consists of globular seeds of a grayish-white color and is 1 to 3 mm (0.04 to 0.12 in.) across. The seeds contain an aromatic oil having a pleasant flavor and are used as a spice, as well as medicinally for minor stomach ailments.
Coriander seed was used in Egypt from ancient times and so was undoubtedly well known to the Israelites before the Exodus. It grows wild in that country as well as in the Palestine area.