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Mexican Mint Marigold (Tagetes lucida)

Add a little color and flavor to your garden and salads with Mexican tarragon. 

This subtle beauty is really a type of marigold, but the leaves and flowers have a tarragon fragrance and flavor. 

Wait until after the danger of frost has passed to plant this zone 8 to 10 hardy plant.  Grow it in full sun to part shade and well-drained soils. It is somewhat drought tolerant.  Northern gardeners can treat it like an annual and those in the northern range of its hardiness zone may see it die back to the ground in a hard freeze.  But don’t worry its root hardy.

The yellow flowers appear in late summer and persist through fall.  The 14 to 20 inch tall plants make a nice addition to herb gardens and flowerbeds.

Harvest the new growth to use fresh.  Preserve the flavor by freezing the leaves or storing in vinegar.  They tend to lose their flavor when dried. 

A bit more information: You can find this plant listed under several common names including Mexican tarragon, Texas tarragon, pericon, and sweet mace.  No matter the common name you can use the leaves and blossoms in soups, sauces and chicken dishes as well as salads.  Some gardeners even seep it for tea.

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