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Tagetes lucida, Mexican Tarragon

£0.95

A very ornamental plant. The blooms are amongst the most sweetly-scented of all flowers.

Duel purpose herb, medicinal or culinary, also good ornamental plant. Strong Tarragon flavour. Potentional as microleaf.

Removing dead flowers before the seed is formed will extend the flowering season.

Secretions from the roots of growing plants have an insecticidal effect on the soil, effective against nematodes and to some extent against keeled slugs, they also have an effect against some persistent weeds such as couch grass. These secretions are produced about 3 - 4 months after sowing. The growing plant also has a repellent effect on various insect pests such as the asparagus beetle and bean weevils.

A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers.

The dried plant is burnt as an incense and to repel insects.

Grows well with tomatoes.

Requires a well-drained moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. Grows well in heavy clay soils and in sandy soils.

Edible uses:

The leaves are dried and ground into a powder then used as a tarragon substitute for flavouring soups, sauces etc. They have an anise-like flavour. The leaves were an important flavouring of 'chocolatl', the foaming cocoa-based drink of the Aztecs.

The dried leaves and flowering tops are brewed into a pleasant anise-flavoured tea. This is a very popular drink in Latin America.

The petals are used as a condiment.

http://practicalplants.org/wiki/Tagetes_lucida

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