I was wondering if I had the French or the Russian tarragon. Let it be the former, I thought, since the French tarragon is said to be superior in terms of flavor.
It turned out to be neither. It wasn’t the Artemisia Dracunculus or A. dracunculoides. It wasn’t even an Artemisia to begin with.
Mine was the Mexican or Spanish tarragon; a tagetes lucida, belonging to the marigold family. That threw me off for a while; I felt I was dealing with an imposter.
But then what’s there to mind? The tagetes lucida is a great tarragon substitute and is fuss-free. It also propagates easily and grows fast. This is one herb I can prune regularly and share with friends.
You’ll probably end up with more tarragon than you need.
Lately there have been clusters of small orange marigolds. And these cheerful five-petalled blooms are edible too! … just the thing to toss into a lovely fresh salad.
Care and propagation: partial shade to full sun; garden soil; water moderately; propagate using seeds or cuttings.