Other common names: False Coriander, Spiny Coriander, Serrated Coriander, Thorny Coriander, Long Coriander, Stinkweed, Spiritweed, Fitweed, 刺芹, 刺芫荽, 洋芫荽, 美国刺芫荽
Sawtooth Coriander is such a common herb in many gardens that some may even consider it a weed. It tastes like true Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) but is much more tolerant of tropical weather. The leaves have a very strong taste and can be used as a replacement for true coriander in soups and stir-fries.
Sawtooth Coriander grows as a perennial crop in Southeast Asia, but because the leaves get much tougher and less juicy after flowering, it is often cultivated as an annual. It readily flowers and sets seed, making it a useful self-propagating herb that can be used for interplanting or as a living mulch. Its shallow root system also makes it a popular choice for growing in pots.
Sun and soil needs:
Sawtooth Coriander thrives in 4-6 hours of direct sunlight, or at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight. Plants do best in pots with sandy or loamy soil at least 5cm deep, or in true ground. These plants are vulnerable to root rot, so ensure that your pots drain well, and that your soil has plenty of organic and inorganic soil amendments to let the roots breathe.
Sawtooth Coriander naturally grows in clusters as mature plants set seed. Thin plants out to give them around 5-10cm of space to encourage larger leaves.
The leaves of this plant will become tough and less juicy after the plant flowers. Prevent this by regularly removing flower stalks as the plant produces them.
Seeds can be harvested from flowers that have developed into dry, black seed capsules.
Take note that the leaves have sharp edges and may cause skin irritation and cuts. Use gloves when maintaining this plant for safety.
Common problems & solutions:
Like most strong-smelling herbs, this plant is relatively resistant to pests and disease if kept healthy.
Wilting leaves during hot weather is a sign of heat stress. Increase the number of times the plant is watered daily, or move it to a shadier part of the garden.