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Marigolds: Tagetes erecta

Botanical name: Tagetes erecta

Common name: African marigold

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Planted
1
time

Sprite
created by:
dragonfly

Austin, Tx

at a glance

Soil: damp, neutral, clay
Sun:
  
Zones: 9a thru 11a
Care:
easy
Lifespan:
annual
Category:   
Attributes:

fall interest, butterfly attracting, bee attracting, edible

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description for "Marigolds: Tagetes erecta"

This is a wild species and a large, fragrant and showy plant. Flowers are small, colorful, and delicious in salads. Marigolds are not fussy; they will adapt to most garden soils. They bloom non-stop for virtually the entire summer. Marigolds are fast growers and are resistant to many disease and pests. Plant in full sun and water during periods of drought. USDA Zones 9 - 11. Marigolds are tender tropical plants and are killed by frost. Grown widely as garden annuals. This is a great plant to grow in the vegetable garden where they can be used to discourage many insect pests, like aphids and carrot root flies. Propagation: The black needle-like seeds can be easily sown directly where they are to be grown - even by young kids. When seedlings are 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm) high thin to 12 in (30 cm) apart. They can also be sown indoors and transplanted outdoors when danger of frost has passed. [source: http://www.floridata.com/ref/T/tage_spp.cfm] --edited by dtd siegelgirl

History:

Despite its common name, the African marigold is native to Mexico and Central America. Marigolds were brought from the new world to Europe in the 16th century and have been widely hybridized since. The Aztecs gathered the wild plant as well as cultivating it for medicinal, ceremonial and decorative purposes. Its flower, the cempasúchil is also called the Flower of the Dead in Mexico ("Flor de Muertos") and is used in the Día de los Muertos celebration every November 2nd. The word cempasúchil (also spelled cempazúchil) comes from the Nahuatl term for the flower zempoalxochitl, literally translated as "twenty flower". Since prehispanic times, this plant has been used for medicinal purposes. It has been used to treat stomach ache, parasites, diarrhea, liver illnesses, vomiting, indigestion and toothache among other illnesses. Scientific study shows that thiophenes, natural phytochemicals that include sulfur-containing rings, may be the active ingredients. They have been shown to kill gram negative and gram positive bacteria in vitro. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagetes_erecta]

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