Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum, Yerba Porosa

Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum, Yerba Porosa, Southwest Desert Flora Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum, Yerba Porosa, Southwest Desert Flora   Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum, Yerba Porosa, Southwest Desert Flora Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum, Yerba Porosa, Southwest Desert Flora   Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum, Yerba Porosa, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum
Common Name: Yerba Porosa
Also called: Papalo, Quilquiña, Papaloquelite, Cilantro and Bolivian Coriander
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Porophyllum ellipticum, Porophyllum latifolium Porophyllum macrocephalum)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual
Size: Up to 20 inches.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; erect, several stems and aromatic herbage.
Leaves: Green; glabrous, alternate, generally broadly ovate, slender petiole; oil glands visible in leaves.
Flower Color: Greenish to purplish; disk flowers only; flower heads few to many; erect stalks on tips of stems; bracts subtending flower head narrowly linear with oil glands, fruit is an achene.
Flowering Season: August to October following sufficient monsoon rainfall.
Elevation: 3,500 to 5,000 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Damp moist areas in rocky slopes and canyons.
Recorded Range: In the United States, Yerba Porosa is rare, native to AZ, NM, TX and south through Mexico, Central and South America and the West Indies. In Arizona, it is limited to the southern part of the state and small populations occur in NM and TX. Although rare in the United States, this species has been introduced in CA and it is classified as an agriculture weed.

U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: No data available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.

Genus Information: 6 species in Porophyllum in southwestern United States. 2 subspecies of Porophyllum ruderale including Porophyllum ruderale ssp. ruderale, also called Yerba Porosa.

Comments: Although Yerba Porosa grows wild in Arizona, it is a popular herb in Mexico and South America with a distinctive somewhat strong flavor similar to cilantro. It is used fresh, never cooked, in many foods such as tacos, soups and salads. Its multiple common names are a tribute to the popularity of this herb in Mexico and South America.

Also see the related species Slender Poreleaf, Porophyllum gracile.

The genus Porophyllum is a combination of two Greek root words; "poros" or hole and "phylum" for leaf, in reference to the gland-dotted leaf blades.

Date Profile Completed: 10/24/2012; Updated, 07/26/2015
References:
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, as Porophyllum macrocephalum.
John L. Strother, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae | Porophyllum, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 10/24/2012)
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names and recorded geographic locations, http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/