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Mexican tarragon (Tagetes lucida)

Plant family

Asteraceae (aster family)

Botanical synonyms



South of the USA and in México

Used plant part

Fresh leaves and flowers

Sensoric quality

The plant has a pleasant anise-like scent, copying almost perfectly the fragrance of tarragon. The leaves' taste is similar and very intense.

Main constituents


Mexican tarragon (flowering plant)


Mexican tarragon has been in use since Aztec times, both for religious and medical purposes. Today, it is a popular herb in the Southern states of the USA, since it can substitute the well-known tarragon very well, but can be grown more easily in a hot climate.

Closely similar to tarragon, Mexican tarragon is stronger and more robust; therefore, it goes better with spicy food as is loved in the Southwest of the United States. It is good for bouquet garni, for flavoured butter and herbed vinegar. Its pleasant scent harmonizes very well with poultry.

Source :

European Masters Degree in Food Studies - an Educational Journey

Master in Food Safety Law is an initiative of Wageningen University, The Netherlands