Unknown Porophyllums

In all corners of Mexico there are varieties of porophyllum unknown to the scientific community. They remain unclassified and without the Latin nomenclature that science is so fond of.

There are many varieties of pore leaf yet to be catalogued. One such variety would be Copanquelite. According to Diana Kennedy, this as yet unidentified porophyllum (My Mexico, 1998) is a delicate plant with smaller leaves than papaloquelite and is found in Chilapa, Guerrero. Diana is an English woman who first lived in Mexico in the 1950’s and became enamoured of Mexico’s culinary traditions. She has travelled widely in Mexico and published books in both Spanish and English on Mexican food and cooking. Diana has been recognised within Mexico for her exhaustive work in cataloguing regional Mexican cookery.

Diana Kennedy

There are many varieties that are only known locally and by common names. Papaloquelite was once quite difficult to find outside of Mexico and then it started to show up in farmers markets and community gardens in L.A and Chicago. Information on this herb was hard to find. In my own library I could find only two references to it. From the time I heard of papalo to the time I was able to source the seeds in Australia was nearly five years. A grower in the West Australian town of Geraldton supplied me with P.ruderale and two years later I found someone selling three packets of P.macrocephalum on eBay. Nearly ten years later I came across my first seeds of P.tagetoides. These herbs are now becoming known and their seeds easier to find.

There are still varieties, such as Tlapanche, which are available only where they grow.

Pictured are a few of the as yet to be classified porophyllums available on the California Academy of Sciences iNaturalist.org website. These photos demonstrate the diversity of the plants in this species.

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