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Tagetes erecta - L.
                 
Common Name African Marigold, Aztec marigold, Big Marigold, American Marigold
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Grows in the pine-oak forest zone[181]. A garden escape in the USA where it grows along the sides of roads[43].
Range Southern N. America - Mexico.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary
Bloom Color: Orange, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.

Tagetes erecta African Marigold, Aztec marigold, Big Marigold, American Marigold


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tagetes_erecta_Blanco2.404b-cropped.jpg
Tagetes erecta African Marigold, Aztec marigold, Big Marigold, American Marigold
http://www.hear.org/starr/
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Tagetes erecta is a ANNUAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms
Tagetes major Gaertn.

Habitats
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers.
Edible Uses: Colouring;  Condiment.

The petals of the flowers of some varieties can be eaten[183]. The fresh receptacle is eaten by children[272]. A yellow dye obtained from the flowers can be used as a saffron substitute for colouring and flavouring foods[183]. The plant is used as a condiment[177]. (This probably refers to the use of the flowers as an edible dye)
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anthelmintic;  Aromatic;  Carminative;  Digestive;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Laxative;  Ophthalmic;  
Sedative;  Skin;  Stomachic.

The whole herb is anthelmintic, aromatic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, sedative and stomachic[61, 238]. It is used internally in the treatment of indigestion, colic, severe constipation[238], coughs and dysentery[218]. Externally, it is used to treat sores, ulcers, eczema. sore eyes and rheumatism[218, 238, 257, 272]. The leaves are harvested as required for immediate use during the growing season, whilst the flowering plant can be dried and stored for later use[238]. A paste of the leavs is applied externally to treat boils, carbuncles and earaches[272]. The flowers are carminitive, diuretic and vermifuge[272]. A decoction is used to treat colds, and mumps[218]. It is applied externally to trea skin diseases, conjunctivitis and sore eyes[218, 272]. The root is laxative[272].
Other Uses
Dye;  Insecticide;  Repellent.

Secretions from the roots of growing plants have an insecticidal effect on the soil, effective against nematodes and to some extent against keeled slugs. These secretions are produced about 3 - 4 months after sowing[200]. The flower petals also have nematacidal properties[218]. The growing plant is also said to repel insects and can be grown amongst crops such as potatoes and tomatoes. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers[169, 257].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Massing, Seashore, Specimen. Requires a well-drained moderately fertile soil in a sunny position[200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils and in sandy soils[188]. Although not very frost resistant, it can be grown as a tender annual in Britain, sowing the seed in a greenhouse in the spring and planting out after the last expected frosts. The flowers are often sold in local markets in Nepal and used as an offering to the Gods[272]. A number of named forms have been developed for their ornamental value[183]. The cultivar 'Yellow Climax' has mild flavoured edible flowers that can be used as colourful garnishes[183]. All parts of the plant emit an unpleasant smell similar to that of stale urine when they are bruised[245]. Removing dead flowers before the seed is formed will extend the flowering season[188]. Plants are prone to attacks by slugs, snails and botrytis[188]. Special Features: North American native, Fragrant foliage, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.
Propagation
Seed - sow March in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts.

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Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Tagetes filifoliaIrish Lace10
Tagetes lucidaMexican Tarragon, Sweetscented marigold43
Tagetes micranthalicorice marigold01
Tagetes minutaMuster-John-Henry22
Tagetes patulaFrench Marigold, Dwarf French Marigold22
Tagetes tenuifoliaLemon Marigold, Striped Mexican Marigold, Signet Marigold20
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Expert comment
 
Author
L.
Botanical References
200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
v n rao Wed Nov 22 2006
thanks for the elobarate information Are there any companies to buy the marigold flowers for extracting pigment for cmmercial use? iam in INDIA .If yes may request for the adresses of such companies. Thanks
Elizabeth H.
mickconnolly Fri Jun 15 2007
show specimen plant I live in Spain and have a plant /weed which has a most disgusting smell of urine.It is ground hugging prolific and invasive plant which stinks so much that our visitors think we are both incontinent.since we have never allowed this smelly invader to grow more than first sight will allow,we wondered could you give us some idea as to what it is called?
Elizabeth H.
Vital Mon Oct 26 2009
The above described "ground hugging" plant with "a most disgusting smell of urine" certainly isn't Tagetes erecta. I don't think I can recall to ever have come across such a plant. I'm growing Tagetes erecta (var. Cracker Jack) for the petals, which are used to extract lutein and zeaxanthin (for supplements and nutraceuticals), which reportedly are critical antioxidant carotenoids for the macula of the eyes, and reduce age-related increase in the lens' density. The petals of the variety Cracker Jack are only slightly bitter, and thus OK to be eaten in small amounts on their own, added to a mixed salad, to a smoothie or most other foods.
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