Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

From the September 15, 2008 Newsletter Written in Sabacché and issued from a ciber in nearby Tekit, Yucatán, MÉXICO
POROPHYLLUM PUNCTATUM

You may remember from about a year ago in Querétaro when one morning my fiend Silviano introduced me to a "weed" in the garden he was watering. Silviano called the herb Tepegua and I described it has having a "wonderfully refreshing odor, much like the fragrance of cilantro, but even sharper and more piquant, maybe like cilantro mingled with tangerine-rind or arrugula." You can see the plant and read the story at http://www.backyardnature.net/q/tepegua.htm. Compare the picture of that herb's leaf, halfway down the page, with that of a common plant here, shown below:

Porophyllum punctatum

Leaves of the plant found here also have aromatic-oil-filled, slit-like glands and scalloped margins, the same general shape and texture, and when crushed also produce a pungent fragrance. However, the glands in Silviano's herb leaves were translucent, while ours are black. Our leaves have fewer secondary veins, and our pungent fragrance isn't particularly appealing -- it's an oily, musky, grassy odor and taste.

Still, the similarities are enough for us assume that we have two species of the same genus here. The Querétaro herb was Porophyllum ruderale. Since there's a Porophyllum listed for the Yucatan, Porophyllum punctatum, that's what I'm assuming ours is. They're members of the Composite or Sunflower Family.