Vietnamese mint or Vietnamese coriander is a creeping, herbaceous perennial that grows from 15-30cm high, but it has been reported to grow up to 80cm in ideal conditions. It is not part of the mint family, but has some resemblance to the mints in its appearance and growth habits. One of those habits is the ability to colonise an area very quickly and it is generally a prolific plant in the right conditions. The native habitat of Vietnamese mint is South East Asia, and Vietnam in particular where it grows naturally.

The leaves are very aromatic, elongate to a point and are about 8cm long. They have a refreshing green appearance with red stems and a reddish, brown marking on the upper surface. In spring and summer the plant produces small pink flowers on small stalks. It is easy to grow when given the right environment and may need to be controlled in some areas.

You can harvest fresh leaves and stems as you need them for cooking or to use as health supplements. The plant recovers well and you will have a constant supply, so there is no need to dry and store the leaves. The leaves are widely used in cooking and also have some traditional medicinal uses.