Papalo/Quilquiña Seeds - (Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum)

(11 reviews) Write a Review
Seed Count:
Approx 25 seeds per pack
Days to Germination:
2-3 weeks @ 75-85F
Plant Spacing:
Light Preference:
Full sun
Soil Requirements:
Well-drained soil
Heirloom, Non-Hybrid, Non-GMO seeds
  • Papalo/Quilquiña Leaves - (Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum)
  • Papalo/Quilquiña Leaf- (Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum)
  • Papalo/Quilquiña Plant- (Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum)
  • Papalo/Quilquiña plant in Mississippi - (Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum)
  • Papalo/Quilquiña Seedlings - (Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum)
  • Papalo/Quilquiña Seeds - (Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum)
  • Papalo/Quilquiña Seeds - (Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum)

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Papalo/Quilquiña/Papaloquelite – From South American Gardens to Your Kitchen 

Picture a citrusy twist, a hint of arugula, and a burst of fresh cilantro-like tang encapsulated in one magnificent, oversized leaf. This is Papalo, an extraordinary ancient Mexican herb whose name is derived from the Nahuatl word for butterfly, "papalotl."

Its unusual, piquant, fresh green leaves have a marvelously complex, distinctive flavor – like cilantro on steroids! Unlike cilantro, it doesn't bolt in summer, providing a steady supply of vibrant flavor all season long.

Papalo could be the unexpected twist that elevates your summer dishes. Its intense, citrusy notes and peppery zing make it a versatile addition to a wide range of dishes. 

Papalo is a game-changer for your garden. It's not just a herb, it's a natural protector for your vegetables, keeping pests at bay. It's a conversation starter, an heirloom with a story, and a flavor experience you will remember.

Be mindful that papalo must be used fresh as it does not dry well and is never cooked.

A word of warning – if you don’t like cilantro, you’ll like papalo even less! On the flip side, if you enjoy cilantro and want something that won’t bolt the instant the weather warms up, then you’ll love papalo. We carry the round-leaf variety that has more complex flavors with enough pungency without going too far.


Papalo pre-dates the introduction of cilantro to Mexico by several thousand years, which is a very interesting story all by itself. South America is thought to be the ancestral home of papalo. The herb grows wild in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas but is not typically used by the locals.


Cafes in Mexico place bunches of the herb in vases as centerpieces on the table so diners can pick the leaves to add to foods as desired.  Little known outside of rural Mexico. It is used fresh or only added at the last moment to cooked dishes, used in tacos, salsas, meats and cheeses. 

The flowers provide nectar to feeding butterflies, while also attracting bees and other pollinators to the garden with their pollen.

Growing Tip

As you can see from the photos, the seeds are delicate and require special packaging. If the stem is broken from the umbrella-like top, it will not germinate. The price includes special packaging.

Learn More

In October 1999, when Alice Waters, renowned chef of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, first tasted one variety of papaloquelite, she was ecstatic, demanding to know why she had never experienced it before. She purchased every seed packet available from the Underwood Gardens booth at the Taste of the Midwest Festival, an annual event sponsored by the American Institute of Wine and Food. (From the December/January 2000 issue of The Herb Companion). 

From the soil to the seed to the food you eat - we'll help you grow your best garden!

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11 Reviews

  • 5


    Posted by Rebecca on Oct 19, 2022

    I sowed 10 seeds 10Aug. On 13Aug, 4 sprouted. 24Aug, 2 more sprouted so that was a 6/10 germination rate for me, nice. Since I planted so late the plants are doing well in the house overwintering so I can still harvest them. The flavor is super nice. Tastes like cilantro to me with an added flavor, I'm not sure what, but it makes me think of a flavor I would have in chile colorado. So that's good too! Very happy with my purchase, thank you.

  • 3


    Posted by Heather on Nov 20, 2021

    I only gave it 3 stars for the flavor. It was no where near cilantro to my taste buds! I have wind here so I planted 6 in a stock tank and very lightly anchored them with fine sand on just the feathery part. Two came up but 1 outgrew the other. It got about 2 to 2.5 ft tall.. not near as big as the pictures.. and I found it a bit on the bitter side. I'm wondering if it had different growing conditions it would taste better? It has so many seeds on it it will probably take over the back yard next spring, which is about right for things I'm not fond of. I'm in San Diego county where it's hot.

  • 5

    Grew very well into 3 foot tall bushes in zone 5

    Posted by Susan Dirks on Nov 20, 2021

    Had papalo to give away to all of my co-workers and neighbors

  • 3

    I have good news and bad news.

    Posted by Laurie Smith on Nov 06, 2021

    The good news: it germinated quickly sown directly into a pot, didn't need a lot of attention, and is a very charming, pretty plant with attractive leaves. The bad news: I despised the stuff, hated the smell and taste. We live on the borderland and cook a LOT of Mexican food, and I LOVE cilantro, but papalo is NOT cilantro and is probably an acquired taste, one I don't plan to acquire. My advice: try it once and see if you like it. You will at least get a nice bunch of plants from it. Then, if you don't like it, you will know.

  • 5

    Papalo/Quilquiña Seeds

    Posted by Thomas Shelley on Sep 18, 2019

    I planted 24 seeds. Three germinated--true to form as the seeds were advertised as being slow to germinate with a low germination rate. The three plants that grew are spectacular specimens, being very well developed and very flavorful. Now to figure out how to use them in cooking as they are very very strongly flavored!

  • 5

    Summer cilantro

    Posted by Country grower on Sep 02, 2019

    I have had the most fun growing Papalo plants this summer. Heat does not bother it, as advertised. Have already transferred my plants to our green house to see if I can winter them over. Has not made any seeds as of yet. Hoping I will get some before cooler temps arrive. Seeds germinated fairly easy.

  • 5

    They grew fine and flavor is wonderful.

    Posted by Karen Evans on Aug 12, 2019

    knew about these before so my knowledge and palate have expanded. I would recommend this item for any cilantro-lover!

  • 5

    Seeds arrived quickly and intact.

    Posted by Sine Rosa Fuentes on Jun 24, 2019

    They are planted and excited to see the plant I lived in Bolivia for a few years and am hoping these are the answer to what is missing in my attempt to recreate some of the cuisine.

  • 5

    Great germination rate!

    Posted by CaliforniaPoppy on Aug 07, 2018

    Terroir Seeds was right about their packaging of the papallo seeds. I kept the fuzzy part on the seed like they said. Almost all my seeds germinatedm and the plants are doing great! They like the hottest and sunniest place possible. I would definitely order this again.

  • 5

    Papalo seeds

    Posted by Shannon on Jul 02, 2018

    Great herb, lovely flavor. Tried to grow it before from seeds I purchased elsewhere with no luck. The seeds I got from here had the important tail bit for germination and all of my seeds sprouted. I have tons of papalo growing now so it is a good thing that I love it!

  • 5

    Happy healthy little Papalo plants!

    Posted by Don Mertes on Apr 07, 2018

    This was my first year growing Papalo and I ordered the seeds from Terroir. They came carefully packaged in a small cardboard box and I started 36 of them in doors under a grow light and on a heating mat. I had 100% germination within just a few days! After they gained some size and the weather began to warm, they were transplanted into the garden where they are currently doing beautifully and getting bigger every day. I see the largest growth on the hottest days, so I’m so excited for some great salsa a little later this summer!

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