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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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117 news items

Freie Presse

Freie Presse
Sun, 17 Aug 2014 18:18:45 -0700

Besucherin Simone Heinke hatte beispielsweise eine Würz-Tagetes gefunden. "Sie schmeckt nach Lakritz und duftet ein bisschen wie Weihnachten. Ich bin Floristin und schon beruflich sehr interessiert. Es ist schön, dass es hier viele ausgefallene Dinge ...
Visalia Times-Delta
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 16:38:09 -0700

You can incorporate salvias, grasses, tagetes, kniphofia and other low-water plants to create a full, dynamic design. With lots of bold color and diversity you will be amazed how many butterflies, hummingbirds and bees will flock to your landscape ...
Hamilton Spectator
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 00:52:30 -0700

In fact, plant any type of Tagetes (the Latin name for marigolds) and you're immediately labelled a rube; the kind of gardener who goes in for pink plastic urns, gnomes holding fishing rods and AstroTurf carpeting the front yard. Yet, contrarian that I ...

The Guardian (blog)

The Guardian (blog)
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 02:39:51 -0700

I've planted a lot more flowers than in previous years; clover along the fruit cordons, tagetes amongst the asparagus (in the vain hope of repelling asparagus beetle) and Nicotiana tabacum to keep the cabbage whites off the brassicas (with success ...

news aktuell (Pressemitteilung)

news aktuell (Pressemitteilung)
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 01:20:15 -0700

Düsseldorf (ots) - Sei es beim gemütlichen Sommerfest mit der Familie oder einem geselligen Grillabend unter Freunden - den Sommer verbringen wir am liebsten draußen. Blühende Topfpflanzen wie Mandevilla und Tagetes setzen dabei farbige Highlights ...


Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:38:48 -0700

On her plot she is growing Tagetes patula “Linnaeus”, the pretty burnt orange French marigold, Tithonia rotundiflolia “Torch”, a sensational flower with a throat like a vase (both from seeds from Sarah Raven) scabious, foxglove, achillea, helenium ...
Mynewsdesk (pressmeddelande)
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:56:15 -0700

I de långa rabatterna framför Gamla orangeriet har trädgårdsmästare Kaili Maide odlat västindisk indigo, färgpilört, tagetes, stockrosor och flera andra färgväxter. Besökarna kan här se grenar lindade med färgat garn intill växten som gett färgen ...
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 10:37:30 -0700

En av musikerna i Briggen Tre Bröder säger att han inte är så hemma på "blommor och ticket", men att tagetes luktar kattapiss innan en låt om Eva-Lena drar igång. För Lena och Stefan Rydberg från Vä är det premiär på trädgårdsdagen. - Vi ska fixa till ...

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