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Photo Credit: Jimmy Parker

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Photo Credit: Jimmy Parker

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Photo Credit: Jimmy Parker

QUICK FACTS

  • FAMILY Asteraceae
  • CATEGORY Grasses & Groundcovers

Yerba Porosa, Papalo, Quilquiña, Papaloquelite, Cilantro, Bolivian Coriander (Porophyllum ruderale)

Native to the dry areas of the Southwest USA and Mexico, Porophyllum ruderale is at home on the dry sides of the state. Quickly spreading along the roads and lava fields, dense thickets on the Kona side of Hawaii Island are common. It thrives in rocky-dry areas and disturbed places. The self-seeding wind-dispersed forb is a garden weed and is classified as an agricultural weed in California. A popular herb in Mexico and South America, it has a distinctive smell and taste. Some say its a cross between cilantro and rue with citrus notes, a taste that some find disgusting.

  • Sparsely branched, erect forb grows up to 5 feet tall
  • Alternately arranged leaves are more purple than green
  • Leaves are elongated with somewhat scalloped edges
  • Glands are visible on leaves and flowers
  • Flower heads are few to many with insignificant disk flowers-not showy
  • Fruit is an achene

Harm

  • Ability to form dense thickets
  • Fast growth to maturity
  • Produces many viable seeds
  • Seeds are dispersed by humans, by wind and possibly as a contaminant