Tagetes erecta L.

Aztec marigold

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Aztec marigold has been collected in the wild only in Massachusetts, but cultivars of this annual plant, in a range of sizes and colors, are popular garden flowers, and may persist after planting. It is native to Mexico and Central America, where it has long been used as a medicinal herb and dye plant.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
Massachusetts
Leaf type
leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
  • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
  • opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
  • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower type in flower heads
the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
Ray flower color
  • orange
  • yellow
Tuft or plume on fruit
there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
30–250 mm
Flower head width
6–10 mm
Disk flower number
  • 6-10
  • more than 50
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bract color
    the bracts are not colored or tinged with pink, red or purple
    Bract cycle number
    there is one main cycle of bracts
    Bract outer side hair type
    the bracts are not hairy on their outer surface
    Bract outer side hairs
    the bracts are not hairy on their outer surfaces
    Bract separation
    at least some flower heads have bracts connected to one another at or near their bases
    Bract spines
    the bracts have no spines
    Bract tip orientation
    the bracts are pressed against the plant, or spreading out at the tips
    Bracts
    the bracts in separate cycles are similar or gradually changing from the outer to inner cycles
    Disk flower color
    • green to brown
    • orange
    • yellow
    Disk flower lobe number
    5
    Disk flower number
    • 6-10
    • more than 50
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    the disk flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Disk flower shape
    the disk flower is tube-shaped (cylindrical), or gradually widening like a funnel
    Flower head outer flowers
    at the outer edge of the flower head, each flower has a single enlarged lobe or strap
    Flower head platform
    the base has no bristles or papery scales
    Flower head platform surface
    NA
    Flower head position
    each of the flower heads is separate on its own peduncle (stalk), not clustered in groups
    Flower head profile
    • the disk is conical across the top
    • the disk is rounded across the top
    Flower head shape
    the sides of the flower head are roughly parallel, like a cylinder
    Flower head width
    6–10 mm
    Flower type in flower heads
    the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
    Height of flower head base
    13–19 mm
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    NA
    Inflorescence shape
    NA
    Inflorescence stem
    the stem of the inflorescence is not hairy
    Number of bracts at flower head base
    5–8
    Ovary cross-section
    • the ovary has five or more corners in cross-section
    • the ovary is compressed (flattened)
    Ovary hair type
    • the ovary has hairs on it, but the hairs have no glands
    • the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary hairs
    • the ovary has hairs on it
    • the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary profile
    in profile, the ovary is another shape
    Peduncle length
    30–150 mm
    Ray flower color
    • orange
    • yellow
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    • the ray flowers have carpels or stamens, but not both
    • there are neither carpels nor stamens in the ray flowers
    Ray flowers
    • 1-5
    • more than 50
    Ray length
    20–40 mm
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers on the plant contain both carpels and stamens
    Scale tip
    NA
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is a cycle of much smaller bracts outside the cycle of larger and longer bracts
    Style branch number
    the style has two branches
    Width of flower head base
    13–20 mm
  • Fruits or seeds
    Number of pappus parts
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    6.5–10 mm
    Seed hair tuft bases
    NA
    Seed hair tuft color
    NA
    Seed hair tuft details
    NA
    Seed hair tuft length
    2–12 mm
    Seed hair tuft tips
    NA
    Seed hairs uniform
    there are two distinct lengths of pappus hairs
    Seed tuft scale number
    3–7
    Seed tuft type
    the pappus is made of flat scales that are not split or frayed at the tips
    Top of disk flower ovary
    NA
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
  • Glands or sap
    Bract resin
    the bracts have resin or resin glands
    Leaf blade glands
    the leaf blades have glandular (translucent) dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    the plant is annual, it lacks evidence of previous years' growth
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
  • Leaves
    Final leaf segment length (compound lvs only)
    15–60 mm
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    20–100 mm
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    the underside of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    • opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    • the leaf has a distinct petiole
    • the leaf has no petiole
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade edges
    • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade hairs
    NA
    Leaf blade length
    30–250 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is oblanceolate (lance-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    Leaf disposition
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    • the leaves have leaf stalks
    • the leaves have no leaf stalks, but attach directly to the stem
    Leaf tip extension
    NA
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Specific leaf type
    • the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis
    • the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis, and each lobe itself has rows of lobes on each side of the lobe's central axis
    • the leaf has lobes that themselves have lobes, and these secondary lobes also have lobes; there may be more than three levels of lobes
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant has a pleasant odor, such as licorice, fruit or resin
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem internode hair direction
    NA
    Stem internode hair length
    0 mm
    Stem internode hair type
    the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem internode hairs
    the stem has no hairs between the nodes

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Tagetes patula

Synonyms

  • Tagetes major Gaertn.

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Tagetes

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Tagetes erecta L. E

Aztec marigold. Tagetes major Gaertn. • MA; also reported from CT by Magee and Ahles (1999), but specimens are unknown. Roadsides, fields, waste areas.