The leaves and stalks of the plant are referred to as "cilantro," while the seeds are referred to as "coriander." Coriander seeds have a pleasing lemony flavor and floral aroma. The flavor goes very well with cumin and many recipes include equal amounts of the two spices. The plant's leaves and the ripened seeds taste completely different and they cannot be substituted for each other. Fresh cilantro tastes pungent, and to a certain percentage of the population, it tastes soapy.
Coriander is a spice produced from the round, tan-colored seeds of the coriander plant (Coriandrum sativum), which is a member of the parsley family. The word coriander can be used to describe the entire plant: leaves, stems, seeds, and all. But when speaking of coriander, most people are referring to the spice produced from the seeds of the plant. The leaves of the plant are commonly called cilantro, which comes from the Spanish word for coriander, or Chinese parsley. Coriander roots also appear in culinary use as a pungent addition to Thai curries. Coriander grows as a native plant around the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa and in the Americas.