Botanical Name: Porophyllum linaria
Synonyms: Porophyllum tagetoides (Kunth) DC.
Common Names: Pipicha, Pepicha, Chepiche, Straight-leaf papalo
Habitat: Porophyllum linaria is native to Mexico. It grows on grassland, amongst xerophytic scrub, woodland edges, often on calcareous soils; at elevations from 1,200 – 2,500 metres.
Porophyllum linaria is short lived, erect to decumbent annual to perennial plant, usually branching from near the base, growing 10 – 50cm tall.
The plant is a popular food in Mexico, where it is often harvested from the wild for local use. It is cultivated as a food crop in Mexico, and occasionally elsewhere, and is sold as a vegetable in local markets.
Porophyllum linaria is a plant of semi-arid, subtropical to tropical climates. It is not tolerant of frost, but can generally be cultivated from the warm temperate zone( with hot summers) to tropical areas.
Requires a sunny position, succeeding in a range of soil types so long as they are well-drained.
A fast-growing plant, it can reach a height of 60cm within 30 – 45 days and can be harvested on a cut and come again basis until cut back by cold weather.
The aromatic oils, which are contained largely in the pores or glands that are especially plentiful on the leaves, produce a strong odour when the foliage is bruised, broken, or heated. Cures, real or fancied, that are attributed to various species of Porophyllum are probably largely due to either the soothing properties of the oils or the imagination by the patient that anything that is so odoriferous must be beneficial.
Propagation: Through Seed – sow in situ. Plants also readily regrow from cut stems ensuring long-season production.
Leaves – cooked and eaten as a vegetable. Used especially as a flavouring.Mainly used in Mexican cooking, where it is often used to flavor meat dishes. It has a strong taste akin to fresh coriander with overtones of lemon and anise.
Medicinal Uses: The Nahuatl used pipicha as a medicinal herb for bacterial infections and to detoxify the liver.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.