Tagetes lemmonii - Bush Marigold
Tagetes lemonii is one tough plant. Prior to seeing the Bush Marigold I had always thought that marigolds were these fluffy bedding plants in front of gas stations and shopping centers. I was walking through the Huntington Gardens in San Marino around Thanksgiving and saw Tagetes lemmonii for the first time. The genus Tagetes took on new meaning for me. I located a couple of Tagetes lemmonii plants at a nursery and planted them about 2 feet back from the entrance to my yard on each side of the walk. The plants were gorgeous but in a very short time they consumed the walk and put out a strong fragrance every time I walked through. The scent stuck with me for awhile too. This was fine so long as I was poking about the yard but rather unusual as a cologne. I plant the Mexican Tarragon back a bit further from the walk now. And I enjoy this fall blooming plant from mid summer through the first of the year or hard frost. Tagetes lemmonii plants get about 6 feet in diameter and lose their foliage to frost at about 25° F. But they usually come back from temperatures dipping into the high teens. Tagetes lemonii is a great addition to the Butterfly Garden where it attracts the Dwarf Yellow Sulfur Butterflies Summer through frost.
High resolution photos of Tagetes lemonii are part of our garden image collection.