Picking chimaja.

Botanical name: 

Date: Wed, 20 Mar 1996 23:01:51 MST
From: Michael Moore <hrbmoore.RT66.COM>
Subject: Re: Chimaja

>I am looking for information on Chimaja (Chimaha) which purportedly tastes like cilantro, even when dried. I would be interested to see if anyone can supply the latin name or a source of seed.

You can see a photograph of Chimaja on my web site...Cymopterus fendleri.

If you want to access any, you have about four weeks to accomplish it...it is just starting to show, and will mostly be past seed by late April. A sturdy little umbel, it has a rather large and tasty root, with shiny dark green leaves that, indeed, retain their scent and taste after drying...the seeds taste like a cross between cumin, celery and coriander seeds, with a hint of angelica seed.

To my knowledge, no one cultivates them...they are gathered in sandy bajadas in northern New Mexico, NE Arizona...and there is a bit in southern Utah as well, generally between 5,000 and 6,500 feet...lowlands around here. As I had to laboriously gather it for my store in Santa Fe for 15 years, I timed my harvest once as 9 ounces of dried leaves per hour of stooping.

Good luck ;-)

Michael Moore (hrbmoore.rt66.com)