What Is Culantro and Is It the Same as Cilantro?

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Culantro is not an alternate spelling of cilantro. So the short answer is "no." Culantro and cilantro are not the same thing.

Something Else Entirely

Culantro is a completely different plant from cilantro. Although the two are cousins, they look nothing alike and are quite easy to differentiate by appearance.

Culantro, Eryngium foetidum, has long, serrated leaves and sports a blue flower when permitted to bolt.

Cilantro also is known as Chinese parsley or Mexican parsley and its seeds are called Mexican coriander. In fact, its leaves do resemble flat-leaf parsley and look nothing like culantro.

How Culantro Is Used

It is the leaves of culantro that are a popular herb in the cooking of the Caribbean (where it is known as chandon beni) and in Asian dishes.

Culantro also is often called spiny cilantro and is not as widely available as cilantro. Check with your market's produce manager if you do not see any on the shelves with the other fresh herbs.

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