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Tagetes micrantha is an annual plant that can grow up to 0.15 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials..
We have no information on this species, though other members of the genus have an irritant sap that can cause dermatitis in sensitive people[
Southern N. America - Arizona to Texas, south to Mexico. An occasional casual in Britain[
Disturbed sites, moist soils in meadows, juniper woodlands, pine forests at elevations of 1500 - 2600 metres[
Requires a well-drained moderately fertile soil in a sunny position[
Plants are not very resistant to frosts and need to be grown as half hardy annuals.
Removing dead flowers before the seed is formed will extend the flowering season[
Most members of this genus are very good companion plants, see 'Other Uses' below for more details[
Plants are prone to slugs, snails and botrytis[
The plant is used as a remedy for stomach complaints, colds and fevers[
Many members of this genus are widely used in companion planting schemes[
]. 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[
]. These root secretions also have a herbicidal effect, inhibiting the growth of certain plants growing nearby. It has been found effective against perennial weeds such as Ranunculus ficaria (Celandine), Aegopodium podagraria Ground elder), Glechoma hederacea (Ground ivy), Agropyron repens (Couch grass) and Convolvulus arvensis (Field bindweed)[
An essential oil distilled from the leaves and flowering stems, harvested when the plant is forming seeds, is used as an insect repellent[
]. It is also used in perfumery[
Dried plants can be hung indoors as an insect repellent[
Seed - sow early spring 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.