Coriander is an important aromatic plant of India. On steam distillation, the seeds yield a colourless or pale yellow volatile essential oil, which is used for flavouring food products, liqueurs, alcoholic beverages and perfumes. Coriander is also used in the synthesis of vitamin A (Bedoukian, 1967). The Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants introduced several Bulgarian selections of coriander and evolved a superior variety, CIMPO S-33. This variety contains more essential oil (about 1·5%) than the local varieties available in India (0·2–0·3%) (Dimri, Khan & Narayana, 1976). Earlier work on coriander has shown that application of N (Bhupinder Singh et al. 1979) and N, P and K (Vagujfalvi, 1964) increases seed and oil yields of coriander. Information on nutrient uptake by coriander and on the effect of fertilizers on coriander oil quality is not available in India. The present experiment was designed to study the effect of different rates of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium application on seed yield, yield and quality of essential oil and N, P and K uptake by coriander (cv. CIMPO S-33).