Marigold Botanical Name

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Marigold is the standard and generic English name for plants that fall under the genus Tagetes. The genus comprises both perennial plants and annual plants. Most species under this genus are native to Southern Mexico and are herbaceous plants.

Some species of marigolds, however, are found around the world. In fact, some are also considered as an invasive species.

The French marigolds and the African marigolds are the most common cultivated species under this genus. Some species of marigold deter pests like insects, hence, are planted alongside plants like potato, tobacco, and tomato. A marigold species known as Tagetes minuta is used in the manufacturing of "Marigold oil," which is used in perfume production and as a food flavouring agent.

The botanical name Marigold is called Tagetes, a genus that encompasses many species.

Till now, there are many other classified species of marigold. A few of the most well-known are given below.

  • Tagetes minuta

  • Tagetes lucida

  • Tagetes subvillosa

  • Tagetes elongata

  • Tagetes tenuifolia

Description of Marigold

Tagetes, as the Botanical Name Marigold, species differ in size ranging from 0.1 to 2.2 m tall. Most of these species have pinnate green leaves. Naturally, blooms occur in orange, golden, white, and yellow colors, often with maroon highlights. Typically, the floral heads are with (1-) to 4–6 cm diameter, with both ray florets and disc florets generally. Although all the perennial species are gaining popularity, they tend to be planted as annuals in horticulture. They also have fibrous roots.

Based on the species, the Tagetes species grow well in almost all sorts of soils. Most horticultural selections grow the best in soil with good drainage, even though some cultivars are known to have good tolerance to drought.

Nomenclature of Tagetes

The name Tagetes is derived from the Etruscan Tages' name, born from the earth's plowing. It likely refers to the ease with plants which of this genus come out every year either by the stems which regrow from the stump already in place or by the seeds produced in the previous year.

In English, the common name of marigold is derived from Mary's gold, a name which is applied first to the same plant native to Europe, Calendula officinalis.

The most diverse and as well as the common cultivations of Tagetes are variously referred to as African marigolds (usually referred to as hybrids and cultivars of Tagetes erecta), or French marigolds (usually referred to as cultivars and hybrids of Tagetes patula, of which many were developed in France). The so-called signet marigolds are the hybrids derived mostly from the Tagetes Tenuifolia.

Cultivation and Uses

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Marigold foliage has a pungent and musky scent, though some varieties have been bred to be scentless, depending on the species. It is said to deter some nematodes and some common insect pests as well. Hence, the tagetes species are often used in companion planting for eggplant, tomato, chili pepper, potato, and tobacco. Because of the antibacterial thiophenes exuded by the roots, the Tagetes should not be planted near to any legume crop. A few of the perennial species are Rabbit, Deer, Javalina or Peccary-resistant, and Rodent.

T. Minuta (otherwise known as Khaki bush or Huacatay), originally from South America, has been an essential oil source for the perfume and industry called Tagette or "Marigold oil", and as a Flavourant in the tobacco and food industries. Commonly, it is cultivated in South Africa, where this is also a useful pioneer species plant in the reclamation of disturbed land.

The Tagetes erecta florets are abundant in the orange-yellow carotenoid lutein and are used as food colours (with the INS number E161b) in the European Union for foods like Vegetable Oil, Pasta, Mayonnaise, Margarine, Salad dressing, Baked goods, Confectionery, Ice Cream, Yogurt, Dairy products, Mustard, and Citrus Juice. However, in the United States, the extracts and powders are only approved as colorants in poultry feed.

Marigolds are fixed as a food plant for a few Lepidoptera caterpillars, including a nectar source and dot moth for other butterflies. Often, they are part of butterfly gardening plantings. Besides, many species are pollinated by beetles in the wild.

Cultural Significance

Tagetes Lucida

The species Tagetes Lucida called pericón are used to prepare an anise-flavored medicinal and sweetish tea in Mexico. In addition, it is used as a culinary herb and as a substitute for tarragon in various warm climates, and offered in the nursery as "Mexican mint marigold" or "Texas tarragon."

Tagetes Minuta

Being native to southern South America, Tagetes Minuta is a tall and upright marigold plant having small flowers and are used as a culinary herb in Peru, Ecuador, and Chile and Bolivia it is referred by the Incan term Huacatay. The paste is used to make the Ocopa, a popular potato dish. Having both "yellow/orange" and "green" notes, the odor and taste of fresh T. Minuta is such as a mixture of tarragon, sweet basil, citrus, and mint. Also, it is explicitly used against nematodes and a medicinal tea for gastrointestinal complaints.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Mention some Medicinal Uses of Tagetes?

  • Marigold is used for ulcers, stomach upset, menstrual period problems, eye infections, wound healings, and inflammations.

  • It is also antiseptic.

  • When the Marigold flower is rubbed on the affected part or wounds, it brings relief in pain and swelling when caused by a bee or wasp.

  • A lotion produced from the flowers is most useful for wounds and sprains, and a water distilled from them is good for the sore eyes.

  • The infusion of freshly gathered flowers is a beneficial aspect of fever.

  • The Marigold or Tagetes flowers are mostly in demand for children ailment. Externally it is used for the alopecia treatment.

  • It is used internally to treat kidney and bladder problems, uterine bleeding, blood in the urine, and many more.

2. Explain the Description, Classification, and Other Names of Tagetes?

Description It flowers from July to September period. The scented flowers are hermaphrodite (have both female and male organs). It is frost tender and is hardy to zone 6. The lower leaves are broad and shaped in the spatula. Upper leaves may be smooth and oblong at the edges and are arranged alternately along the stem. The seeds are crescent to a horseshoe shape with the rough exterior. Its branching stem grows to a height of 30- 60 cm.

Other Names - A few of the other names used for the Marigold are Ganda, Caltha, Gols bloom, Garden Marigold, Holligold, Gold bloom, Marybud, Pot Marigold.


Scientific Name: Calendula officinalis

Kingdom: Plantae

Class: Magnoliopsida

Division: Magnoliophyta

Order: Asrerales

Genus: Calendula

Family: Calenduleae

Found In: Ranthambore National Park and Valley of Flowers.