Tagetes: Marigolds

Family: Asteraceae
Common name: Marigold, French marigold, Mexican marigold

Easiest to grow, easiest to bloom, prettiest among all the flowers in your garden; that’s Marigold for you. Tagetes is a very broad genus having many species like Tagetes Patula, with small yellow and red flowers; Tagetes Erecta, with large bright yellow flowers and numerous other cultivars.

The flowers come in a range of colors, sizes and number of petals. The common names are Mexican marigold, African marigold, French marigold that bloom in shades of white, yellow, light orange, dark orange, red and a combination of these colors. There are flowers with a single layer of petals, and others with petals so closely arranged that it looks like a fluffy yellow ball.

Marigolds have different places of origin depending on the species, but currently, they are cultivated everywhere. In India, marigolds are used for all auspicious occasions and festivals; in temples, wedding halls, car decorations and more. Marigold plants range in height from 100 cms to 2 meters. Most of the plants are annual, withering away after an intense, tiring blooming session; producing thousands of seeds which can be used to grow the next set of plants.

The plant is said to have some insecticidal properties; keeping insects away due to its strong scent. Marigold plants were used in traditional medicine in treatment of eye diseases, digestive ailments, heart disorders and also respiratory diseases. Their flowers are used in cooking as spices or coloring agents, and also in perfumes.

Propagation is through seeds.

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