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Common Name: Lemon Marigold
Tagetes tenuifolia is an annual plant that can grow up to 0.80 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
C. and S. America - Mexico to Guatemala.
Grows in the pine-oak forest zone[
]. A garden escape in the USA where it grows along the sides of roads[
Requires a well-drained moderately fertile soil in a sunny position[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils and in sandy soils[
There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value[
This species is treated as no more han a synonym of T. erecta in the Flora of North America[
The bruised foliage is perhaps more refreshingly aromatic than any other plant[
]. The lemon verbena-like smell remaining on the fingers for an hour or more after touching the plant[
Removing dead flowers before the seed is formed will extend the flowering season[
Plants are prone to slugs, snails and botrytis[
Grows well with tomatoes[
The flowers of some cultivars have a pleasant citrus-like flavour and can be used sparingly as a flavouring in salads, sandwiches, wines etc or used as a garnish[
Secretions from the roots of growing plants have an insecticidal effect on the soil, effective against nematodes and to some extent against keeled slugs, they also have an effect against some persistent weeds such as couch grass[[
]. The plant also has an effect on asparagus beetle and bean weevils. These secretions are produced about 3 - 4 months after sowing.
A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers[
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.