Welcome to OrganicMotion! In this blog post, we will explore the delightful qualities of Mexican Tarragon, a versatile herb known by various names such as Sweet Mace, Winter Tarragon, Cloud Plant, and Sweet Marigold. With its vibrant appearance, distinct aniseed flavor, and rich historical background, Mexican Tarragon offers a range of uses from culinary delights to traditional medicinal remedies. Join us as we delve into the captivating world of Tagetes lucida and uncover the remarkable benefits this herb brings to your garden and beyond.
Appearance and Description:
Mexican Tarragon is an herbaceous perennial that thrives with ease. It grows up to 70cm tall and features a cluster of erect stems adorned with linear leaves, measuring approximately 4cm in length and 1cm in width. During the summer months, this herb produces clusters of bright golden yellow flowers, typically occurring in groups of up to 15 at the top of the plant. By regularly removing dead flowers, you can extend the blooming period well into autumn. Mexican Tarragon leaves are characterized by their distinct aniseed scent and flavor, which is similar to French Tarragon but noticeably stronger. While growth slows during winter, this herb flourishes during the summer, adding vibrancy to your garden.
Traditional Uses and Medicinal Properties:
Mexican Tarragon has a rich history of traditional medicinal use, particularly among the Aztec people. It was highly valued for its healing properties in treating “water” illnesses such as gout, colds, oedema, and rheumatism. This herb was believed to alleviate headaches and cold symptoms as well. Additionally, the flowers of Mexican Tarragon can be used to obtain a yellow dye, while the dried plant is commonly burned as incense and as a natural insect repellent. By embracing Mexican Tarragon in a permaculture garden, you not only enjoy its practical benefits but also attract pollinators and provide a source of food and medicine for the occupants.
Mexican Tarragon boasts an impressive nutritional profile, rich in essential vitamins. It is a good source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, and C, making it a valuable addition to a balanced diet. By incorporating this herb into your culinary repertoire, you can enhance both the taste and nutritional value of your meals.
Growing and Care Tips:
Growing Mexican Tarragon is relatively straightforward, and it can be propagated through seeds or division. When sowing seeds, plant them at a depth of 3-5mm, with a spacing of 30-45cm apart. Late spring is the ideal time to grow Mexican Tarragon, either from seeds or through division. This herb thrives in deep, fertile soil with a neutral pH ranging from 6.6 to 7.3, providing good drainage. Full sun exposure is crucial for its optimal growth. During the dry season, ensure ample watering to support its growth, while Mexican Tarragon demonstrates fast development during the wet season.
Mexican Tarragon offers an array of culinary possibilities. Both fresh and dried leaves can be used for flavoring soups, sauces, and dressings, imparting a delightful aniseed note to your dishes. For an aromatic and pleasant tea, brew dried leaves and flower heads. This herb can also be used sparingly as a substitute for French Tarragon in various recipes. Furthermore, Mexican Tarragon is excellent for creating herb vinegar, perfect for elevating salad dressings. Simply fill a 2-liter glass bottle with an abundance of leaves, cover them with wine vinegar, and let them infuse for three weeks. Strain the vinegar into glass bottles, adding a flowering sprig of Mexican Tarragon as a decorative garnish.
Treasure for any garden or kitchen
Mexican Tarragon, with its distinctive flavor, stunning appearance, and diverse applications, is a treasure for any garden or kitchen. Whether you seek to enhance the taste of your culinary creations or explore its historical significance in traditional medicine, this herb provides an abundance of benefits. Embrace the wonders of Tagetes lucida in your organic garden and discover the multitude of possibilities it offers. Join us at OrganicMotion as we celebrate the beauty and versatility of nature’s bounty. Happy gardening and culinary adventures!