- Bushy upright annual growing up to 30-40cm with aromatic, deeply divided sharply toothed leaves.
- A very unusual flowered marigold with a ruffled appearance and pointed, tubular petals.
- Yellow and orange chrysanthemum-like flowers are borne from early summer to autumn.
- Needs full sun and has average water needs.
- Will grow well in almost any sort of soil.
- The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects.
- Good cut flower, ideal in borders and suitable for growing in containers.
- Removing dead flowers before the seed is formed will extend the flowering season.
- The flower petals can be used in lettuce salads and other foods to add color and flavor.
- The florets of Tagetes erecta are rich in the orange-yellow carotenoid lutein - used as a food color for foods such as pasta, vegetable oil, margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressing, baked goods, confectionary, dairy products, ice cream, yogurt, citrus juice and mustard.
Medicinal Uses. It is said that:
- The leaves and flowers are harvested as required for immediate use during the growing season, whilst the whole flowering plant can be dried and stored for later use.
For Animals. It is said that:
- The whole herb is anthelmintic, aromatic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, sedative and stomachic.
- It is used internally in the treatment of indigestion, colic, severe constipation, coughs and dysentery.
- Externally, it is used to treat sores, ulcers, eczema, conjunctivitis, sore eyes and rheumatism.
- A paste of the leaves is applied externally to treat boils, carbuncles and earaches.
- The flowers are carminative, diuretic and vermifuge.
- A decoction is used to treat colds, and mumps.
- The root is laxative.
- The essential oil of the flower contains antioxidants
- The dried flower petals, ground to a powder, may be used as colorant in poultry feed to ensure a good coloration of egg yolks and broiler skin, especially in the absence of well-pigmented yellow maize in the feed.
- Marigold is a food plant for some Lepidoptera caterpillars and a nectar source for butterflies.
- About 3 - 4 months after sowing, the roots produce secretions that have an insecticidal effect on the soil – it is effective against nematodes species and to some extent against keeled slugs.
- Tagetes are often used to companion plant with tomato, eggplant, chili pepper, tobacco and potato to repel whitefly.
- A yellow dye, made from the flowers is used as adulterant of saffron, used for coloring foods yellow and for coloring textiles.
- The oil of the flower may be added to perfumes to infuse an apple scent into them.