CORIANDER, PERENNIAL - CULANTRO, Long coriander, Pak chi farang, Phakchi farang, Pak chi lao, Maelaedo, Hom-pomkula Scientific Name:
Eryngium foetidum syn E. antihystericumSeeds:
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- Culantro is a biennial or short-lived perennial herb indigenous to continental Tropical America and the West Indies.
- It is a small, evergreen branched biennial up to 15-20cm in height, with fibrous roots and long leaves with spiny toothed margins that grow in a basal rosette pattern.
- In summer numerous, tiny green-white flowers with leafy bracts, appear in cylindrical umbels.
- Culantro is favored in areas where true coriander (Coriandrum sativum) does not do well - it can stand hot, steamy weather.
- It prefers partial shade but will also grow in full sun and will do well in pots.
Medicinal Uses. It is said that:
- Culantro taste similar and even stronger than true coriander (also known as cilantro) and is very popular in Caribbean and Asian cooking.
- The leaves are tough, but if sliced and chopped they are tasty.
- The chopped fresh leaves can be applied in tossed salads, soups, sauces, vegetables, curries, dips and especially fish dishes.
- Unlike plain coriander, culantro dries well, retains good color and flavor and it can stand some cooking.
- The dried leaves can be used later in salads and cooking.
- Culantro is also a good a food flavoring and seasoning herb for meat.
- A tea can be made to treat diarrhea, flu, fevers, vomiting, diabetes and constipation.
- Culantro has anti-inflammatory properties and it is rich in calcium, iron, carotene, and riboflavin.
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