Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum, Yerba Porosa
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)
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.
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.