Culantro

Culantro tastes and smells similar to cilantro, but it looks and grows like lettuce, with elongated leaves that stretch upward.

Culantro

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(Eryngium foetidum)
  • Type: Annual in most areas
  • Planting time: In spring, after the last frost
  • Features: Elongated leaves with strong flavor and fragrance very similar to those of cilantro
  • Light: Partial shade
  • Soil: Well drained; let soil surface dry slightly between waterings
  • Spacing: 8 to 12 inches
  • Plant size: 6 to 18 inches tall
  • Garden use: Great for containers
  • Culinary use: Latin American and Asian dishes; an key ingredient in recaito seasoning

Culantro is an herb native to Mexico, Central, and South America which has a strong, aromatic scent that fills the air if you brush up against it. This easy-to-grow herb has many culinary uses in Caribbean, Latin American, and Asian cuisine. It is a very popular herb in Panama, Puerto Rico, and other Latin countries. Although used in small amounts, its very strong flavor is used as a seasoning in a wide range of foods including meats, vegetables, and chutneys. It goes by many names: long coriander, false coriander, culantro or recao (Spanish), langer koriander (German), ngo gai (Vietnamese), pak chi farang (Thai), and bhandhanya (Hindi). Like its close relative, cilantro, the plant tends to stretch tall and go to seed in the lengthening days of spring. While culantro and cilantro look different, the leaf aromas are similar, although culantro is stronger. Although it is grown as an annual, it is actually biennial in areas warm enough to let it overwinter.

Some Bonnie Plants varieties may not be available at your local stores, as we select and sell varieties best suited to the growing conditions in each region.

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