RE: [gardeners] Downsizing Garden

Margaret Lauterbach (
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 05:57:03 -0700

At 03:17 PM 11/24/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Margaret wrote:
>Grim Fandango, eh?  Did you finish your Internet Tomatas?  How about the
>herb book I've heard you were writing?  The curry plant I've always been
>told, even by nursery people, is strictly ornamental, seems to be edible in
>your lexicon.  I don't know your source for that.  What do you have on the
>edibility of Tagetes minuta, given that it's a nematocide and herbicide?  A
>friend claims it's very popular in Peru, for instance, in a dish called
>Huacatay.  I suggested he not eat much of it at a time.  Of course epazote
>is a vermifuge, and that's eaten too.  Margaret
>1. Both book manuscripts are due next August...I'm scribbling and
>2. Source on edibility of curry plant is HSA (Herb Society of America) and
>various cookbooks.
>3. Tagetes minuta (Mexican marigold) is NOT the same as Mexican Tarragon
>(Tagetes lucinda) aka "Sweet Mace". T. lucinda is TP, frequently used as
>alternative to French tarragon. Tagetes minuta is a giant, mostly
>insecticidal marigold with inconspicuous green-yellow flowers. The roots are
>used to discourage nematodes (and some say they will also kill bindweed). My
>understanding is that T. minuta isn't harmful when eaten--just not terribly
>tasty to the typical 'murican palate. So, maybe you don't need to be a
>prophet of doom and gloom for your friend who enjoys its taste.
I do mean T. minuta.  I'm beginning to suspect that it's only the roots
that are toxic, although the leaves are not.  The leaves are used in the
South American cooking.  Even Richters identifies it as a culinary herb
that is nematocidal, herbicidal, etc.  Perhaps they elucidate in one of
their herbalgrams.  I could look, I guess.  Best, Margaret