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mexican seeds

Latin
Tagetes lucida
Family: Asteraceae

How to Grow Mexican Tarragon

Mark Macdonald | November 01, 2017

This fast-growing member of the marigold family can be started indoors or by direct sowing in the garden. Learn more about how to grow Mexican tarragon in the useful guidelines below.

Latin
Tagetes lucida
Family: Asteraceae

Difficulty
Easy

Season & Zone
Season: Warm season
Exposure: Full sun
Zone: 8-10.

Timing
Sow indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost (late February on the coast), or direct sow 2 weeks before last frost (mid-March on the coast). If starting indoors, just cover the seeds with vermiculite and provide a soil temperature of 21-25°C (70-75°F). Seeds should sprout in 4-14 days at that temperature.

Starting
The seedlings are somewhat prone to damping off. As a precaution, just cover the small seeds with vermiculite, water from below, and provide ventilation in the room. Space plants in the garden 30-45cm (12-18″) apart.

Growing
Pinch the growing tips to encourage branching. Edible flowers are borne in abundance once the summer heats up. This fast growing herb requires little care, but it does appreciate good drainage.

Harvest
Pick leaves and flowers to steep as tea or as a substitute for traditional tarragon at any time during the summer. A yellow dye can be created from the flowers of this plant. The dried plant was traditionally burned to repel insects.

Zea mays parvaglumis. An annual teosinte species that grows wild from Nayarit to Oaxaca. This is the subspecies of teosinte that was first domesticated in the Balsas River Valley 9,000 years ago. As domesticated corn spread throughout the Mesoamerica, it received some genetic material from other teosinte subspecies such as Zea mays mexicana in Northwest Mexico.

Mexican Annual Teosinte

Zea mays parvaglumis. An annual teosinte species that grows wild from Nayarit to Oaxaca. This is the subspecies of teosinte that was first domesticated in the Balsas River Valley 9,000 years ago. As domesticated corn spread throughout the Mesoamerica, it received some genetic material from other teosinte subspecies such as Zea mays mexicana in Northwest Mexico.

This wild ancestor to domesticated corn shares many of the same traits as modern corn. However, the ears are small (2-3″) with only 1 row of triangular shaped seeds. Plants will produce silks and tassels, but will be bushier with many branches. Each seed is enclosed by a very hard fruitcase that protects it in the wild. Soak seeds overnight to aid in germination. Native to Mexico, wild Zea species are shortening-day plants meaning that flowering is triggered as the days shorten.