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

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Seed Count:
Approx 40-50 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 Seedlings - (Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum)
  • Papalo/Quilquiña Seeds - (Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum)
  • Papalo/Quilquiña Seeds - (Porophyllum ruderale ssp. macrocephalum)



Papaloquelite is a fabulous ancient Mexican herb. The name comes from the word papalotl, Nahuatl for butterfly. Unusual, piquant, fresh green leaves have a marvelously complex, distinctive flavor - like cilantro on steroids! Does not bolt in summer like Cilantro. The herb must be used fresh as it does not dry well, and is never cooked. 


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. 

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). 

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3 Reviews

  • 5
    Great germination rate!

    Posted by CaliforniaPoppy on Aug 7th 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 2nd 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 7th 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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