Cacalia glandulosa Salisb.
Cacalia porophyllum L.
Cacalia ruderalis (Jacq.) Sw.
Kleinia glandulosa Moc. & Sessé
Kleinia porophyllum (L.) Willd.
Kleinia ruderalis Jacq.
Porophyllum ellipticum (L.) Cass.
Porophyllum latifolium Benth.
Porophyllum macrocephalum DC.
Porophyllum macrolepidium Malme
Porophyllum porophyllum (L.) Kuntze
Tagetes integrifolia Muschl.
Common Name: Papalo Quelite
Growing plant in Java
Photograph by: Wie146
Porophyllum ruderale is an erect, usually rather sparsely branched annual plant growing 20 - 100cm tall[
]. All parts of the plant are malodorous[
The edible leaves, especially of the subspecies macrocephalum, are a popular flavouring and vegetable, and are commonly harvested from the wild, being also used medicinally. They are also cultivated and are sometimes sold in local markets[
In addition to being cultivated as a food crop, the subspecies macrocephalum is often found as a weed of waste and disturbed ground in its native habitat. It was introduced into the Galapagos as a food, where it has escaped from cultivation and is now classed as an invasive weed[
S. America - Bolivia, Peru, northern Brazil; C. America - Panama to Mexico; N. America - Arizona, New Mexico, Texas.
A weed of disturbed soils[
]. Brushy rocky slopes or plains, most often in sandy soil, frequently on sandbars along streams, at elevations of 200 - 1,200 metres[
]. Ephemerally wet sites in desert mountains; 1,000 - 1,500 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Porophyllum ruderale is an annual plant found from the warm temperate zone of southern N. America and south through the tropical Americas to Bolivia and Peru. It is usually found in very freely draining soils, often in semi-arid regions where it grows after rains.
Requires a sunny position, succeeding in a range of soil types so long as they are well-drained.
The subspecies macrocephalum is the form more commonly grown for its edible leaves[
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[
Leaves - raw or cooked. They can be added to salads or cooked as a flavouring in foods such as stews and salsa[
]. They are said to make a delicious salsa with tomatoes, onions and chilli[
]. The leaves have a very distinctive pungent aroma and flavour which has been compared to cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)[
The plant is used as an antiinflammatory[
The roots are used in treating snakebite and also to relieve pain from rheumatism and the bacterial disease erysipelas[
An essential oil obtained from the plant is used medicinally and also has significant antifungal activity. It has been recommended for use to develop natural fungicidal formulations in order to protect post-harvest stored grains[
]. Higher antifungal activity is displayed when the complete essential oil is used, as opposed to individual components from the oil used in isolation, suggesting that enhancement of antifungal activity is obtained when other minor compounds are present in the oil, suggesting that the antifungal activity is a result of a synergistic effect.[
The oil contains a significant amount (25%) of waxes and fatty acids, with the following major compounds identified: citronellal (29.3%), -caryophillene (12.4%), hexyl cinnamic aldehyde (8.4%), and bisabolene (7.41%)[
Seed - sow in containers in a greenhouse in the spring. Plant out after the last expected frosts and give protection on cold nights.