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Long Coriander (Eryngium foetidum L.)


BelarusianМексіканская каляндра, В’етнамская каляндра
Meksikanskaja kaĺiandra, Vetnamskaja kaĺiandra
Bengaliবন ধনিয়া, বিলাতী ধনিয়া
Bon-dhonia, Bilati dhonia
刺芫荽 [chi yùhn sèui], 洋芫荽 [yèuhng yùhn sèui]
Chi yuhn seui, Yeuhng yuhn seui
刺芫荽 [cì yuán suī], 洋芫荽 [yáng yuán suī]
Ci yuan sui, Yang yuan sui
GermanLanger Koriander, Mexicanischer Koriander
EnglishPuerto Rican coriander, Black Benny, Saw leaf herb, Mexican coriander, Saw tooth coriander, Spiny coriander, Fitweed
FrenchChardon étoile fétide, Panicaut fétide, Herbe puante, Coriandre mexicain; Coulante (Haïti)
HungarianHosszú koriander, Mexikói koriander, Puerto Ricó-i koriander
Japaneseペレニアルコリアンダー, ペレニアルコリアンダー
Pereniaru-korianda, Nokogiri-korianda
KhmerChi banla, Chi baraing, Chi sangkaech, Chi pa-la, Chi parang
Laoຜັກຫອມເປກັນເທາະ, ຜັກຫອມເທດ, ຜັກຫອມເທດ
Pak hom pekantho, Pak hom thet, Phak hom thet
LithuanianKvapioji zunda
MalayKetumbar Jawa, Pokok Jeraju Gunung
Malayalamആഫ്രിക്കന്‍ മല്ലി, ആഫ്രിക്കൻ മല്ലി, ആഫ്രിക്കന്‍ കൊറിയാന്‍ണ്ടര്‍, ആഫ്രിക്കൻ കൊറിയാൻണ്ടർ,
Afrikan koriyandar, Afrikan malli
Manipuri (Meitei-Lon)অৱা ফদিগোম
ꯑꯋꯥ ꯐꯗꯤꯒꯣꯝ
Awa Fadigom
Naga (Angami)Danyia
Naga (Chakhesang-Chokri)Dunia
Naga (Lotha)Dunia
Nepaliधनियँ वर्मेली
Dhaniyam varmeli
PortugueseChicória-de-caboclo, Coentro-bravo, Coentro-de-Caboclo
RussianВьетнамский кориандр, Мексиканский кориандр, Синеголовник вонючий, Синеголовник пахучий
Vetnamski koriandr, Meksikanski koriandr, Sinegolovnik vonyuchi, Sinegolovnik pakhuchi
Sinhalaඅඳු කුප්ප, ගඳ කුප්ප
Adu kuppa, Andu kuppa, Ganda kuppa
SlovakKoriander dlhý
SpanishCulantro (Haïti); Racao (Puerto Rico); Shado beni (Trinidad); Chadron benee (Dominica), Alcapate (El Salvador), Cilantro habanero, Cilantro extranjero (México), Culantro ancho (Honduras)
SwedishMexikansk koriander
Thaiผักชีฝรั่ง, ผักชีลาว, แมะและเด๊าะ, หอมปุ้มกุลา
Pak chi farang, Phakchi farang, Pak chi lao, Maelaedo, Hom-pomkula
VietnameseMùi tầu, Mùi tàu, Ngò gai, Ngò tây, Ngò tầu
Mui tau, Ngo gai, Ngo tay, Ngo tau
Eryngium foetidum: Javanese cilantro plant
Long coriander plant
Eryngium foetidum: Mexican Coriander, sterile plant
Long Coriander, sterile plant
Eryngium foetidum: Wild growing long coriander in Sri Lanka
Wild growing Long Coriander plant
Eryngium foetidum: Long cilantro leaf
Long coriander leaf
Eryngium foetidum: Sawtooth coriander flowering plant
Plant with flower-bearing stalk
Used plant part

Fresh leaves. The plant forms two types of leaves: The rosette con­sists of up to 10 long leaves with palat­able texture, while leaves on the stalks are smaller and tougher. The bracts en­shrouding the flower heads are almost woody and some­what spiny; they can hardly be eaten, un­less puréd.

Plant family

Apiaceae (parsley family)

Sensory quality

Aroma strong, very similar to fresh coriander leaves; taste similar, but even stronger.

Main constituents

The essential oil from the leaves of long coriander is rich in ali­phatic aldehydes, most of which are α,β unsaturated. The impact com­pound is E-2-dodecenal (60%), further­more 2,3,6-trimethyl­benz­aldehyde (10%), dodecanal (7%) and E-2-tridecenal (5%) have been identi­fied. Ali­phatic aldehydes appear also in other spices with coriander-like scent (e. g., Viet­namese coriander).

Yet another essential oil can be obtained from the root; in the root oil, unsaturated alicyclic or aromatic aldehydes dominate (2,3,6-trimethyl­benz­aldehyde 40%, 2-formyl 1,1,5-trimethyl cyclo­hexa-2,5-dien-4-ol 10%, 2-formyl 1,1,5-trimethyl cyclo­hexa-2,4-dien-6-ol 20%, 2,3,4-trimethyl­benz­alde­hyde).

In the essen­tial oil from the seeds, sesqui­terpenoids (carotol 20%, β-farnesene 10%), phenyl­propanoids (anethole) and mono­terpenes (α-pinene) were found, but no aldehydes.


The plant is native to the Caribbean islands. Today, is has been introduced to large parts of South East Asia (Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia).


The derivation of culantro and racao, two names by which the plant is known in Central America, is not known to me; the former is maybe just a variant of cilantro (see coriander).

Many names in languages that are spoken outside the natural habitat of long coriander refer to the extra­ordinary olfactoric similarity with common coriander. Common denominations in Euro­pean languages include Mexican coriander (Hugarian Mexikói koriander), wild coriander (Portu­guese coentro-bravo) and most frequently long coriander, e. g. German Langer Koriander or Slovak koriander dlhý (the adjectives are cognates, both deriving von Proto-Indo–Euro­pean dhlongʰos long). One also should mention the ill-chosen Russian name Viet­namski koriandr [Вьетнамский кориандр] Viet­namese coriander: Inmany other laguages, that name refers to another culnary herb (also called Viet­namese coriander on this page) that has a better claim to that name, because while both herbs do occur in Viet­namese cooking, only Viet­namese coriander is really native to South East Asia.

Names in many Asian lan­guages are formed in a similar way: Ex­amples include Chinese ci yuan sui [刺芫荽] pricky coriander, Nepali dhaniya vermeli [धनियँ वर्मेली] wild coriander, Hindi ban-dhania [बन धनिया] forest coriander, Malayalam (with some geo­graphic con­fusion) aphrikan malli [ആഫ്രിക്കൻ മല്ലി] African coriander, Malay ketumbar Jawa Jawanese coriander (although I haven’t seen it in Jawa) and Thai pakchi farang [ผักชีฝรั่ง] foreign coriander. Note, however, that the Thai name pak chi farang may also mean parsley, which also deserves to be called foreign coriander, the similarities being more visual than olfactory; lookup errors in the dictionary may then result in long coriander being labelled as parsley in Asian supermarkts.

The Thai term farang [ฝรั่ง] foreign, Western, European has a complex history and derives, in last con­sequence, from the name of a Germanic people, the Franks! In Medieval Europe, the Franks had occupied a powerful position (see also lovage for the herbal edict of Charle­magne), and a large percentage of the Crusaders were Franks. So it was natural to call the continent Europe just firanja Frank country in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic forms are ifranji [إفرنجي] (noun), faranj [فرنجى] (adjective) European, where the initial variation (ifra vs. far) results from different strategies to avoid the initial consonant cluster. From Arabic, the word spread eastward, e. g. Urdu frangistan [فرنگستان], Sanskrit phiranga [फिरंग] and Kannada paramgi [ಪರಂಗಿ] Europe, and Kurdish farangi [فةرةنگی], Dhivehi faranjee [ފަރަންޖީ], and Khmer barang [បារាំង] foreigner.

English saw leaf herb (also sawtooth coriander) refers to the serrated leafs, which loosely remind to a saw blade.

Eryngium foetidum: Flowering sawtooth coriander
Flowering long coriander

The botanic­al genus name Eryngium goes back to the Greek name of the related sea holly (Eryngium maritimum), which was called eryngion [ἠρύγγιον]; the name is probably related to er [ἦρ] spring time (cognate to Latin ver). The genus name foetidus is Latin and means stinking, bad smelling, ugly; similar names are also found in modern languages, e. g. Russian sinegolovnik vonyuchi [синеголовник вонючий] stinking eryngium or Singhalese andu kuppa [අඳු කුප්ප] stinking weed.

Selected Links

Culantro: A Much Utilized, Little Understood Herb Recipe: Salsa Mexicana ( Recipe: Salsa Cruda Norteno ( Recipe: Salsa Roja ( Recipe: Salsa Verde ( Recipe: Salsa Almendra Roja ( Recipe: Salsa de Chile Güero (

Eryngium foetidum: Flower of Long Coriander
Close-up to flower cluster of long coriander
Eryngium foetidum: Inflorescence of Puerto Rican Coriander
One single flower head
Eryngium foetidum: Mexican Coriander, sterile plant
Long Coriander, sterile plant
Eryngium foetidum: Umbel heads of Mexican coriander flower
Compact umbels of Mexican coriander
Eryngium foetidum: Long cilantro, Javanese cilantro, Mexican cilantro
Long coriander (flowering plant)
Long coriander belongs to the same plant family as coriander, but the plant’s shape does not bear much resemblance. Yet the long, tough leaves exemanate a fragrance very much similar to coriander’s aroma and thus suggest themselves as a substitute or alternative for the former.

Long coriander’s usage concentrates on the Far East and Central America. In Asia, it is most popular in the countries of the South East Asian peninsular. In Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore it is commonly used together with or in place of coriander and topped over soups, noodle dishes and curries. It can also be used for Thai curry pastes (see coconut), especially, when coriander roots are not available.

Long coriander is of some impor­tance in the cooking of Vietnam, where fresh herbs are of chief importance (see Vietnamese coriander). Long coriander is often used as a fully equivalent substitute for the much-loved coriander leaves to decorate soups and stir-fries; occasionally, the largest leaves are used to wrap food bits in them.

In South Asia, long coriander is rarely used and not much known; yet it is a common household garden plants in the Hill Area of Nepal, as it tolerates the mountain climate better than true coriander does. I found it also in the South Indian Cardamom Hills, where it is grown as an Ayurvedic plant. There is only one region where it is a common culinary herb: The mountains of the extreme North-East, where culinary habits show a lot of South East Asian influence. See chameleon plant for details.

In Central Ame­rica, long coriander is most associated with the cooking style of Puerto Rico, although it is also known in other Caribbean islands and in Eastern México. Yet Puerto Rico is the place where one is most likely to find foods common to all Central American countries enhanced with long coriander. In the first place, I should mention salsa, a spicy sauce of varying composition that often provides extra spiciness for the main courses or is used as a dip and eaten with crisp-fried tortilla chips (tostadas).

Salsa can be made from more or less everything, but most recipes are actually based on tomatoes (or alternatively tomatillos) or mild paprika varieties. Garlic, onion and more or less fiery chiles are called for by almost all recipes. In the simplest case, salsa is just the raw, chopped or blended ingredients, but it can also be shortly cooked or even long simmered. Also ripe tropical fruits (papaya, mango) are sometimes added. The salsa is then finalized with fresh herbs (oregano, coriander, epazote, parsley and others), salt and maybe a dash of lime juice and sugar.

Eryngium foetidum: Young sprout of long coriander
Young plant of long coriander

Some popu­lar Mexican recipes are salsa cruda made from raw tomatoes (jitomate); then there are salsa de chile rojo from ripe tomatoes and dried ancho-paprika, salsa verde based on tomatillos (tomates verdes) and salsa de chile güero for which a specific type of fresh yellowish green mild paprika is needed. There are also salsas based on dried sweet almonds (salsa di almendra) with fruity ingredients and mild or hot chiles. There is a general preference to use green chiles (serrano, jalapeño) in conjunction with tomatillos to keep the colour pure; for tomato based salsas, however, both green and red (pequín) fresh chiles can be employed. Those recipes which call for dried ripe chiles (ancho, pasilla) often contain tomatoes or tomato paste.

Another Central American specialty that might contain long coriander is the Latin American raw fish food ceviche (see lime).

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