African Marigold


2 entries found.
African Marigold
Common Name: African Marigold
Botanical Name: Tagetes erecta (ta-GAY-teez e-REK-ta)
Decorative Life: About 7-10 days.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place into a fresh flower food solution.
  • Leaves left in vase water rot easily and have foul odor.
Harvest Instructions: Treating with the growth retardant Uniconazole for plug height control during production does not adversely affect subsequent growth and flowering.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Asteraceae or Compositae (aster family).
  • Native to Mexico and Central America.
  • Common relatives include calendula, cosmos, dahlia, zinnia and strawflower.
Personality:
  • Flowers single or more often double, up to 2 inches across, at stem ends.
  • Stems hollow, leafy, 24-32 inches long.
  • Plant is an annual, classed as a dicotyledon.
  • Flowers have a somewhat pungent odor, as do the leaves.
Availability: Mostly summer but more being grown year-round.
Flower Color: Yellow, orange, solid colors.
Storage Specifics: In one study it is reported that 34-36F is best, but not recommended for long periods. In another study, French marigolds stored better at 40F compared to 33F.
Tidbits:
  • Named for Tages, an Etruscan deity, the grandson of Jupiter, who sprang from the ploughed earth. The Compositae or aster family is vast, with over 20,000 species, and is also one of the most developed families. It was named Compositae because the flowers are actually a "composite" of many individual flowers into one head. Hence, when children pull one "petal" off at a time, saying "she/he loves me, loves me not", they are actually removing a complete flower, not just a petal.
  • Scent of foliage deters insects, roots exude chemical that repels soil nematodes. Marigolds often interplanted with crops or other ornamentals for pest control. The specific epithet name "erecta" means upright.
  • Appropriately named “Mary’s Gold,” these were the flowers of the Virgin Mary and were used to decorate church altars. Sometimes fed to chickens to improve yolk color.
  • Suitable for drying. According to Creasy (1999), fresh petals are edible. Can be used in deviled eggs and butter and sprinkled over broccoli and other strong flavored vegetables.
  • T. erecta are generally taller, have bigger flowers and their flowers often consist of one color whereas T. patula are shorter, smaller and have bicolored flowers.
Recent Findings: Using 'Little Devil Mix', Latimer and Oetting (1999) showed that water stressed plants promoted increased aphid populations whereas low nitrogen fertilization reduced aphid levels.
African Marigold
Common Name: African Marigold
Botanical Name: Tagetes erecta (ta-GAY-teez e-REK-ta)
Decorative Life: Many weeks depending on the environment.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Insect prone (red spider mites).
Harvest Instructions: Borch, Brown and Lynch (1998) showed that lower levels of phosphorus fertilization (up to 30 times less than normal fertilization schedules) can improve postharvest performance as measured by less wilting. Namely, they are more tolerant to drought. Deeper and larger volume growing containers can improve shelf life.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Asteraceae or Compositae (aster family).
  • Native to Mexico, Central America.
  • Common relatives include Calendula, Cosmos, Dahlia, Zinnia, strawflower, feverfew, endive, artichoke and lettuce.
Personality:
  • Flowers single or more often double, up to 2-3 inches across, at stem ends.
  • Stems generally hollow and leafy.
  • Plant is an annual, classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
  • Fragrance is pungent.
Availability: Summer.
Flower Color: Yellow, orange, primrose, white.
Tidbits:
  • Named for Tages, an Etruscan deity, the grandson of Jupiter, who sprang from the ploughed earth. The Compositae or aster family is vast, with over 20,000 species, and is also one of the most developed families. It was named Compositae because the flowers are actually a "composite" of many individual flowers into one head. Hence, when children pull one "petal" off at a time, saying "she/he loves me, loves me not", they are actually removing a complete flower, not just a petal.
  • Scent of foliage deters insects, roots exude chemical that repels soil nematodes. Marigolds often interplanted with crops or other ornamentals for pest control. The specific epithet name "erecta" means upright. According to Creasy (1999), fresh petals are edible. Can be used in deviled eggs and butter and sprinkled over broccoli and other strong flavored vegetables.
  • Appropriately named “Mary’s Gold,” these were the flowers of the Virgin Mary and were used to decorate church altars. Sometimes fed to chickens to improve yolk color.
  • One reported good cultivar is 'Antigua' with yellow, primrose, and orange flowers. Full sunlight would be best.
  • T. erecta are generally taller, have bigger flowers and their flowers often consist of one color whereas T. patula are shorter, smaller and have bicolored flowers.
Recent Findings: Latimer (1991) demonstrated that the use of growth retardants by growers offers little benefit and may even reduce plant and flower quality once planted in the landscape. Therefore, growers should consider both the production and postharvest effects of growth regulators before applying them. In another 1991 Latimer paper, she showed that landscape performance of marigolds is sensitive to both root restriction and transplant size but that container shape has little influence.