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African Marigold.jpg
Tagetes erecta,
African Marigold
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Tageteae
Genus: Tagetes

About 56, including:
Tagetes erecta
Tagetes lucida
Tagetes minuta
Tagetes patula
Tagetes tenuifolia
as well as numerous hybrids


Adenopappus Benth.
Diglossus Cass.
Enalcida Cass.
Solenotheca Nutt.
Vilobia Strother

Tagetes [2] is a genus of 56 species [3] of annual and perennial, mostly herbaceous plants in the sunflower family (Asteraceae or Compositae). The genus is native to North and South America, but some species have become naturalized around the world. One species, T. minuta, is considered a noxious invasive plant in some areas.[3]


Tagetes species vary in size from 0.1 to 2.2 m tall. Most species have pinnate green leaves. Blooms naturally occur in golden, orange, yellow, and white colors, often with maroon highlights. Floral heads are typically (1-) to 4–6 cm diameter, generally with both ray florets and disc florets. In horticulture, they tend to be planted as annuals, although the perennial species are gaining popularity.

Depending on the species, Tagetes grow well in almost any sort of soil. Most horticultural selections grow best in soil with good drainage.


The name Tagetes is from the name of the Etruscan Tages.[4]

The common name in English, "marigold", is derived from "Mary's gold", a name first applied to a similar plant native to Europe, Calendula officinalis. See marigold for other plants commonly called marigold. In Nepal, it is called 'शयपत्री' that means hundred-leafed flower, referring to its many florets per head.

The most commonly cultivated varieties of Tagetes are known variously as African marigolds (usually referring to cultivars and hybrids of Tagetes erecta, although this species is not native to Africa), or French marigolds (usually referring to hybrids and cultivars of Tagetes patula, many of which were developed in France, although the species is not native to that country). The so-called signet marigolds are hybrids derived mostly from Tagetes tenuifolia.

Tagetes minuta is the source of commercial "Tagetes oil" used in industry. It is now a naturalized species in Africa, Hawaii, and Australia, and is considered an invasive species (weed) in some regions.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Marigolds decorating a grave for Day of the Dead in Mexico

Depending on the species, marigold foliage has a musky, pungent scent, though some varieties have been bred to be scentless. It is said to deter some common insect pests, as well as nematodes. Tagetes species are hence often used in companion planting for tomato, eggplant, chili pepper, tobacco, and potato. Due to antibacterial thiophenes exuded by the roots, Tagetes should not be planted near any legume crop.[5] Some of the perennial species are deer-, rabbit-, rodent- and javalina or peccary-resistant.[5]

T. minuta (khakibush or huacatay), originally from South America, has been used as a source of essential oil for the perfume and industry known as tagette or "marigold oil", and as a flavourant in the food and tobacco industries. It is commonly cultivated in South Africa, where the species is also a useful pioneer plant in the reclamation of disturbed land.

The florets of Tagetes erecta are rich in the orange-yellow carotenoid lutein and are used as a food colour (INS-number E161b) in the European Union for foods such as pasta, vegetable oil, margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressing, baked goods, confectionery, dairy products, ice cream, yogurt, citrus juice and mustard. In the United States, however, the powders and extracts are only approved as colorants in poultry feed.

Marigolds are recorded as a food plant for some Lepidoptera caterpillars including the dot moth, and a nectar source for other butterflies. They are often part of butterfly gardening plantings. In the wild, many species are pollinated by beetles.[5]

Cultural significance[edit]

T. lucida[edit]

The species Tagetes lucida, known as pericón, is used to prepare a sweetish, anise-flavored medicinal tea in Mexico. It is also used as a culinary herb in many warm climates, as a substitute for tarragon, and offered in the nursery as "Texas tarragon" or "Mexican mint marigold".

Tagetes patula flowers

T. minuta[edit]

Tagetes minuta, native to southern South America, is a tall, upright marigold plant with small flowers used as a culinary herb in Peru, Ecuador, and parts of Chile and Bolivia, where it is called by the Incan term huacatay. The paste is used to make the popular potato dish called ocopa. Having both "green" and "yellow/orange" notes, the taste and odor of fresh T. minuta is like a mixture of sweet basil, tarragon, mint and citrus. It is also used as a medicinal tea in some areas.[6]

Tagetes - various species[edit]

Marigold on an altar in Mexico

The marigold is very significant in Nepalese culture, where marigold garlands are used almost in every household, especially during the Tihar festival. It is always sold in the markets for daily worships and rituals.

The marigold was regarded as the flower of the dead in pre-Hispanic Mexico, parallel to the lily in Europe, and is still widely used in the Day of the Dead celebrations. The marigold is also widely cultivated in India and Thailand, particularly the species T. erecta, T. patula, and T. tenuifolia. Vast quantities of marigolds are used in garlands and decoration for weddings, festivals, and religious events. Marigold cultivation is extensively seen in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh[7]

In Ukraine, chornobryvtsi (T. erecta, T. patula, and the signet marigold, T. tenuifolia) are regarded as one of the national symbols, and are often mentioned in songs, poems, and tales.

Selected species[edit]

Formerly placed here[edit]



  1. ^ "Genus: Tagetes L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2011-01-06. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 
  2. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  3. ^ a b Soule, J. A. 1996. Infrageneric Systematics of Tagetes. Pgs. 435-443 in Compositae: Systematics, Proceedings of the International Compositae Conference, Kew 1994, Vol. I, Eds. D.J.N. Hind & H.J. Beentje.
  4. ^ Everett, Thomas H. (1982). The New York Botanical Garden illustrated encyclopedia of horticulture. Taylor & Francis. p. 3290. ISBN 978-0-8240-7240-7. 
  5. ^ a b c Soule, J. A. 1993. Biosystematics of Tagetes (Compositae). Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Texas.
  6. ^ Soule, J. A. 1993. Tagetes minuta: A Potential New Herb from South America. Pgs. 649-654 in New Crops, Proceedings of the New Crops Conference 1993, Eds. J. Janick & J. E. Simon.
  7. ^ Gupta, Y.C.; Y. D. Sharma and N.S. Pathania (2002-09-09). "Let the flower of gods bless you". The Tribune, Chandigarh, India (web site). Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  8. ^ "Tagetes". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 
  9. ^ a b "GRIN Species Records of Tagetes". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagetes — Please support Wikipedia.
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182 news items

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:22:30 -0700

Phase out fragrance ingredients: polycyclic musks, tagetes, animal-derived ingredients, rose crystal and diacetyl. “We do not use them in any new baby or adult products and are phasing them out altogether by 2015, with priority given to baby products,” ...
Product Design & Development
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 08:11:15 -0700

Results showed that the height of Catharanthus, Celosia, Impatiens, Petunia, Tagetes, Salvia, and Viola was 31%, 29%, 31%, 55%, 20%, 9%, and 35% shorter, respectively, for seedlings grown under 85:15 red:blue LEDs compared with those grown under ...
Monthly Prescribing Reference
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 07:39:34 -0700

Abbot announced the launch of the Similac Breastfeeding Supplement, Abbot announced the launch of the Similac Breastfeeding Supplement, a nutritional supplement designed to enhance the levels of DHA, lutein and vitamin E in breastmilk. According to ...
Bryan-College Station Eagle
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 23:30:19 -0700

Those marigolds you grow for their flowers — large, solid-color pompoms in the case of the African marigolds (Tagetes erecta), and smaller, sometimes multicolored single or double flowers in the case of the French marigolds (T. patula). A GEM OF A PLANT.

Cape Gazette

Cape Gazette
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:00:00 -0700

If you plant your own, some of the best flowers to include are the moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora), marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia), petunias, alyssum, nasturtiums and ivy-leaf geranium. Herbs of all sorts do well in hanging baskets, but especially ...


Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:45:00 -0700

El Vivero Municipal da servicio a los 2,5 millones de metros cuadrados de zonas verdes de León. Así lo ha podido comprobar este jueves el alcalde de León, Emilio Gutiérrez, que junto con el concejal responsable de Parques y Jardines, Julio Cayón, han ...


Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:56:15 -0700

Je fünf 20 Meter lange Beete mit Tagetes sind es beispielsweise, die in der Auhofgärtnerei für das Burgfest herangezüchtet werden. Trotz der Menge sind die Blüten handverlesen. „Man muss auch darauf achten, dass die Tagetes nicht vollständig aufgeblüht ...
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:23:33 -0700

Tagetes: Sie blühen den ganzen Sommer durch, sind in verschiedenen Farben erhältlich, jedoch beliebt bei Schnecken. - Papageienblatt: Nicht die Blüte, sondern das Blatt macht den Farbeffekt. Eignet sich besonders für tief gehaltene Pflanzenteppiche.

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