California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

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.

Tagetes lemmonii