Marigold - plant profile
Marigold plants are stout and branching and can grow up to 60 cm tall. They are cultivated all over the world for their decorative and ornamental flowers. In South Asia they are in great demand during religious festivals where they are used to adorn iconic statues and buildings.
|Image: A painting of Marigold, dated to 1804.|
Leaves - finely segmented and fern-like, they are dark green in colour and are strongly scented.
Flowers - vary in colour from yellow and gold to orange, red and mahogany. The flowers are used as decoration.
The taller and larger-flowered Tagetes erecta was often called African marigold and the smaller Tagetes patula was known as French marigold. But marigolds have been cultivated all over the world and lots of similar hybrid varieties have been developed from the two species. Working out which species is which isn't easy, and some botanists even believe they are the same species.