A small, slender, glabrous herbaceous annual, of the parsley family. It usually reaches 25 cm (10 in) (some varieties can be double this height) and tends to droop under its own weight. The blue-green linear leaves are finely divided, and the white or pink flowers are borne in small compound umbels.
Cumin seed has an aromatic odour and bitter taste. It is used as a condiment and is an ingredient in curry powders, seasonings of breads, cakes and cheese. It is employed in native dishes of Central and South America. In medicine, it is used as a stimulant, carminative, stomachic and astringent. Cumin seed oil is used in perfumery and for flavouring liqueurs and cordials.