Scientific Name: Eryngium foetidum
Other Common Names:
Mexican Coriander is also known by many other names including Culantro, Sawtooth Coriander, Thai Coriander, Long Coriander & Pointed Coriander.
Mexican Coriander is a traditional, open-pollinated herb native to Mexico and other parts of South America. It has been grown around the world for many years and has become naturalised in parts of South-East Asia including Thailand, which is why it's also known as Thai Coriander.
Mexican Coriander leaves are ideal used fresh in cooked Mexican and Asian dishes. The leaves make a great addition to stews, curries, soups and noodle bowls. Mexican Coriander has a similar but more robust flavour than annual Coriander, so less is required if using it as a substitute. Mexican Coriander retains its flavour better when dried than regular coriander and the dried leaves can make a good substitute for fresh coriander when it's not available.
Plant Mexican Coriander in a lightly shaded location for best leaf growth, it will also tolerate full sun but may struggle and bolt to seed if soil moisture is not adequate. Dig lots of organic matter, including well rotted manures, compost or worm castings through the soil prior to planting to encourage plants to produce good leafy growth. Mulch around plants well to retain soil moisture and reduce competition from weeds. Water regularly and evenly. Mexican Coriander plants will die if they are allowed to go to seed, so cut off any flowering spikes as they form if you wish to continue harvesting leaves from your plants. Mexican Coriander can be grown as a biennial in warmer climates, producing good quantities of leaves over a period of two years. In cooler regions they're likely to only survive for one growing season as they're intolerant of frosts. Harvest the outer leaves first to avoid damaging the central growing point.
When To Sow:
In cold and temperate areas of Australia sow Mexican Coriander seeds from September to February, ensuring any chance of frosts has past. In subtropical and tropical areas of Australia sow Mexican Coriander seeds from August to March.
How To Sow:
Mexican Coriander seeds are small and should be planted no deeper than a couple of mm below the surface. You can achieve this by surface sowing Mexican Coriander seeds and covering lightly with soil or growing medium or by raking them in lightly. Firm down the soil around the seeds lightly to reduce moisture loss from evaporation and water regularly until the seeds germinate. Thin Mexican Coriander plants to about 30cm apart to allow them plenty of room to grow.
Mexican Coriander seeds can be slow to germinate, taking between 20 and 25 days.
Time To Harvest:
Individual Mexican Coriander leaves can be picked as soon as plants are big enough to harvest from. Expect good quantities of leaves 10 to 12 weeks after sowing.
Mexican Coriander flower clusters.