Thursday, May 31, 2012
The plant grows to be over 2 feet high and wide with fairly stiff leaves. The inflorescence is held well above the foliage and is quite striking, even from a distance.
Mine get nearly full sun so the foliage has a yellowish cast. Plants in more shade would have darker green leaves. The leaf margins are lined with small spines, typical of many Aechmea species.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
It is native to Central and South America, but is widely grown throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. Every region seems to have its own name for this plant, and the many common names include summer cilantro, yerba porosa, anamu (meaning a strongly scented herb), chucha, guacamaya, namu, papalo, quilquina, rudade gallina, venadillo, yerba de cabra (goat plant), and yerba del venado (cattle plant).
This subspecies has elongated blue-green leaves about 1 1/2 inches in length.
Summer is the best time to grow this herb. During shorter days, the plant puts all its energy into flower and seed production, but the long days of summer produce plenty of leafy foliage for culinary use. Plants are fairly hardy and survive temperatures at least as low as 30° F without damage.
Quilquina is an herb that is best used fresh. I harvest it by clipping about 4 inches off the tips, including any young flower buds. They keep for at least a week when kept moist and refrigerated in a closed container.
Read about the closely-related subspecies, P. ruderale ssp. macrocephalum or Papalo.
Click here to buy seeds of Quilquina (Porophyllum ruderale ssp. ruderale)!