Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Papalo, Papaloquelite
Porophyllum ruderale subsp. macrocephalum

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Porophyllum (por-oh-FIL-um) (Info)
Species: ruderale subsp. macrocephalum

One vendor has this plant for sale.

10 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By bmuller
Thumbnail #1 of Porophyllum ruderale subsp. macrocephalum by bmuller

By turektaylor
Thumbnail #2 of Porophyllum ruderale subsp. macrocephalum by turektaylor


3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive gooley On Feb 15, 2009, gooley from Hawthorne, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I got few seeds to germinate, but maybe it needs higher temperatures and more time than I allowed (as an earlier note confirms). Tough, grows fairly quickly, can get leggy and blow over. I prefer the taste and smell to those of cilantro (not fond of that). Seed is very much in the Compositae style, reminding me a bit of dandelion or marigold. Definitely a plant to grow regularly, at least for me.

Positive kkane On Aug 25, 2008, kkane from Davis, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Easy to grow in Sacramento Valley (CA). Luscious. Addicting. Just try a few times and you are hooked. Full son, not picky about water. Grows to ~4’ here, flowers Sept/Oct. Germinates in June. Produces many seeds, which produce volunteers. Seed viability declines rapidly after a year or so. Brush the plant as you walk through the garden…brings smiles. My seed comes from my son, given to him by “Tall Man” when son was hitch-hiking to S. Baja. Favorite exotic herb. Thus, “Tall Man Papalo.”

Positive bmuller On Sep 22, 2007, bmuller from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love the flavor of this plant--much more complex and exciting than cilantro, which is probably the closest familiar plant. I haven't had outstanding luck in getting the plant to really flourish in my climate, but I've enjoyed watching its growth and using its leaves, nevertheless. Apparently, it's supposed to develop some fairly impressive flowers, but I don't think mine will reach that point before frost!

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 7, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This 3' annual is an ancient Mexican herb with unusual piquant green leaves. Sometimes is referred to as "cilantro on steroids". Has a complex nice flavor. In restaurants, papalo is put out in bowls and left on tables for diners to add to their food. Unlike cilantro this herb retains its flavor after it is dried. Good in soups, salads, tacos, beans, meats, etc...

Germ. @75-85 deg F for 2-3 wks.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Davis, California
Los Angeles, California
Hawthorne, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Savannah, Georgia
Ithaca, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Austin, Texas
Gainesville, Virginia

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