Mexican Tarragon Growing Information
© Frances Michaels
Botanical Name:Tagetes lucida
Mexican Tarragon also known as Sweet Mace, Winter Tarragon, Cloud
Plant and Sweet Marigold.
An easy to grow perennial that is native to Mexico. It prefers a position in full sun and a deep, fertile soil.
This herb grows to 70 cm and produces a cluster of erect stems with linear leaves that are 4 cm long and 1 cm
wide. The bright golden yellow flowers, 1 cm across, occur in clusters of up to 15 at the top of the plant in
summer. The flowers will continue into autumn if the dead flowers are continuously removed. The leaves have a
distinct aniseed scent and flavour which is similar to French Tarragon but much stronger. In frost-free areas
the plant will continue to grow into winter.
Late spring by seed or division.
3 - 5 mm.
30 - 45 cm apart.
deep and fertile, pH 6.5 - 7
it can be used sparingly as a substitute for French Tarragon in any recipe.
It also makes a great herb vinegar for use in salad dressing. Simply fill a 2 litre glass bottle with a large
quantity of leaves, cover with wine vinegar and leave for 3 weeks. Strain into glass bottles and add a flowering
sprig of Mexican Tarragon for decoration.
Mexican Tarragon was used as medicine by the Aztec people. It was
dedicated to Tlaloc, the deity of rain and lightning. This god was responsible for the 'water' illnesses of gout,
cold, oedema and rheumatism. Little pharmacological research has been done on this plant, but what little has been
done suggests it may help relieve headaches and colds.
Mexican Tarragon plants
are available seasonally.