01 May 2014


     Tasting much like cilantro, 'Eryngium foetidum' has lots of names, including 'blessed thistle' from the French 'chardon beni,'  and 'spiny coriander.'  This biennial herb is indigenous to continental tropical America and the West Indies.  I've grown it in Richmond where it's only an annual.
     Used throughout the Caribbean as well as the Far East (check it out in some of Richmond's Vietnamese restaurants), it's rich in calcium, iron, carotene, and riboflavin; and is widely used in herbal medicines. The leaves are a bit tougher and the flavor stronger than that of the cilantro most of us are accustomed to.  It dries well, retaining its color. 
     We grow a lot of it at False Bluff and use it raw in salads or cooked with many different foods. Good stuff!
 Here's a small patch between pineapple and sugar cane.

This picture shows the spiny leaves.