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Epazote, have you seen it growing wild?

Epazote, have you seen it growing wild?
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  • Epazote, have you seen it growing wild?

    Post #1 - July 25th, 2020, 7:47 am
    Post #1 - July 25th, 2020, 7:47 am Post #1 - July 25th, 2020, 7:47 am
    Hi,

    For the last few weeks, I have been listening to lectures on herbs and spices via the Oxford Food Symposium.

    Just now two people, one living in NYC and another in Toronto, claim to have seen Epazote growing wild and observed in cracks in the sidewalks.

    If it is there, then it must be in Chicago, too. If you come upon it, could you provide a picture? If you cannot upload it here, send me a PM.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #2 - July 25th, 2020, 7:57 am
    Post #2 - July 25th, 2020, 7:57 am Post #2 - July 25th, 2020, 7:57 am
    I do a lot of hiking in the prairies of the Forest Preserves, and I don't think I've ever seen it, but I'll try to keep an eye out. It's a pretty generic weedy plant, nothing that distinctive.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #3 - July 25th, 2020, 8:45 am
    Post #3 - July 25th, 2020, 8:45 am Post #3 - July 25th, 2020, 8:45 am
    JoelF wrote:I do a lot of hiking in the prairies of the Forest Preserves, and I don't think I've ever seen it, but I'll try to keep an eye out. It's a pretty generic weedy plant, nothing that distinctive.

    Thanks!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - July 25th, 2020, 4:02 pm
    Post #4 - July 25th, 2020, 4:02 pm Post #4 - July 25th, 2020, 4:02 pm
    Here in zone 5, we might be at or beyond the northern edge of where it likes to grow. I found one website saying it was a hardy perennial in zones 8-9 and an annual in zones 2-7. Another website says it is hardy in zones 6-11. Another says it is an annual in zones 3-7; perennial in 6-11.

    Despite its latitude being similar to Chicago's, New York City is in zone 7. Toronto; that's a mystery to me. I would think that it would definitely be colder there than here, but apparently it's zone 5 according to the Canadian system, which is equivalent to zone 6 in the American (USDA) system.

    On the bright side, it appears to be easy to grow from seed in full sun in pots or beds. Indeed, it might be for the best that it grows well as an annual, because apparently, in zones where its hardy, unless it's confined to pots, it can spread like mint and take over garden beds.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #5 - April 11th, 2021, 11:41 am
    Post #5 - April 11th, 2021, 11:41 am Post #5 - April 11th, 2021, 11:41 am
    Epazote does grow all over the place, just as you heard. I live in Old Town and it grows out of cracks, around sign posts, in parkways, alleys, or wherever. It doesn't spread, like mint, whose roots go wild. Epazote, if allowed to flower, will drop zillions of seeds, which is why you see it everywhere. I did make the mistake of buying a plant once and had to deal with baby epazotes growing out from between pavers for quite awhile. Unfortunately, I would never use any of the "urban" epazote that grows in the parkways, only because the neighborhood's dogs have probably watered it.

    You can easily verify a plant is epazote. Just touch it and smell your fingers. They should smell like gasoline. I'm not kidding.

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