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any plant of the genus Tagetes of the family Asteraceae (asteraster
[Gr.,=star], common name for the Asteraceae (Compositae), the aster family, in North America, name for plants of the genus Aster, sometimes called wild asters, and for a related plant more correctly called China aster (Callistephus chinensis
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 family), mostly Central and South American herbs cultivated elsewhere as garden flowers. The two common species of marigold, both annuals, are distinguished as African, or Aztec (T. erecta), and French (T. patula) although both are native to Mexico and Guatemala. The African commonly has large yellow or orange flower heads and the strong-scented foliage typical of the genus, but an odorless kind has been developed; the French has smaller flower heads, single or double, usually two tones of yellow or orange and red. Other plants sharing the name marigold include marsh marigoldmarsh marigold,
perennial spring-blooming Old World and North American plant (Caltha palustris) of the family Ranunculaceae (buttercup family), found in wet places. It has rounded glossy leaves and large buttercuplike flowers of bright and shining yellow.
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 (in the buttercupbuttercup
or crowfoot,
common name for the Ranunculaceae, a family of chiefly annual or perennial herbs of cool regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Thought to be one of the most primitive families of dicotyledenous plants, the Ranunculaceae typically have a simple
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 family), bur marigoldbur marigold
or sticktight,
common name for any species of Bidens, a genus of chiefly weedy North American plants of the family Asteraceae (aster family) with two-pronged burlike fruits (achenes) that have gained various species such additional names as
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, and pot marigold (see calendulacalendula
, any species of the genus Calendula, Old World plants of the family Asteraceae (aster family). The common calendula (C. officinalis), an annual with yellow to deep orange flower heads produced through a long blooming season, was a popular garden flower
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). Marigolds are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.
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All Marigolds are edible, but only some taste good. The three best are Tagetes lucida, Tagetes patula, and Tagetes tenuifolia. Marigold can be used as a substitute for saffron. The citrus flavor makes it great in salads. Usually only the petals are eaten, no green parts. Used for heart, circulation, headaches, earaches, fevers, hair rinse for shiny hair. Plant beside other garden plants to keep pests away.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Tagetes), a genus of annual or perennial grasses of the Compositae family. The height of the plant is 70–80 cm, the leaves are pinnate; the flowers are yellow, orange, and dark brown. There are more than 35 species in South and North America (from Argentina to Arizona). In the USSR there is one imported species (in western Transcaucasia). Most widely distributed are the French marigold (T. patula), a low plant with a distinctive smell and yellow or reddish yellow flowers, cultivated as a decorative annual, and the dwarf marigold (T. signata), which has fernlike finely cleft verdure and is used in floriculture for low borders, as is T. erecta, a tall plant with few branches.


Kiselev, G. E. Tsvetovodstvo, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


symbol of grief. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 175]
See: Grief
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. any of various tropical American plants of the genus Tagetes, esp T. erecta (African marigold) and T. patula (French marigold), cultivated for their yellow or orange flower heads and strongly scented foliage: family Asteraceae (composites)
2. any of various similar or related plants, such as the marsh marigold, pot marigold, bur marigold, and fig marigold
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Easy Edge flowerbeds with summer bedding plants such as begonia sempervirons, French marigolds, ageratum and Dusty Miller.
The rate of seed growth can be a slow process so while plants are coming up from seed, get the kids planting flowering plants such as pansies and busy lizzies, geraniums (pelargoniums) and French marigolds.
He also has a front garden in which he displays brightly-coloured flowers such as French marigolds and bizzie lizzies.
The less attractive French marigolds (Tagates) see off various aphids and cabbage white butterflies.
SOW seeds of flowers, including sweet peas, Bells of Ireland, nemesia, tobacco plant, African and French marigolds and alyssum.
But we are lucky, as our cool summers do favour many plants, such as French marigolds, impatiens and begonias, particularly the 'non stop' large-flowered kind, which seem to like the rain and do really well in Scotland.
Plants that get relatively big by the time they're garden-ready (tall, zinnias, for example) go into the pots; she sows those that stay smaller (such as French marigolds) in scell-packs.
You can raise your own half-hardy annuals such as African and French marigolds, tagetes and nicotiana from seed sown now, or wait until May and buy flowering plants ready for planting out.
Amongst my tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers I plant strong smelling French marigolds. In the warm, protected shelter of the greenhouse I find it very helpful in controlling whitefly.
The rate of seed growth can be a slow process so while plants are coming up from seed, get the children planting flowering plants such as pansies and busy lizzies, geraniums (pelargoniums) and French marigolds. Or try lettuce on a vegetable patch, which comes up fast and quickly demonstrates the pleasure of sowing and eating.
My entry is an old WC featuring deep crimson french marigolds, silver trailing plants and a multi-coloured string of pearls."
The mother hover fly is especially attracted, before laying her mass of eggs, on French marigolds (Tagates) and the true marigold (Calendula officinalis), whose lovely petals can also be used to decorate salads.