Tagetes patula – French marigold
Tagetes patula – French marigold is a species in the daisy family (Asteraceae). It is native to Mexico and Guatemala with several naturalised populations in many other countries. The heads contain mostly hermaphrodite (having both male and female organs) florets and are pollinated primarily by beetles in the wild, as well as by tachinid flies and other insects. The leaves of all species of marigold include oil glands
2019 – May 15
march 2018 NYC
Diseases and Problems:
It’s commonly planted around brassica crops to mask their smell from Cabbage. White butterflies that seek out their host plants by scent and in doing so helps lessen the damage done by voracious caterpillars.
Because French Marigolds are rich in nectar, they do however attract some beneficial insects such as ladybirds and lacewings. Commonly planted in butterfly gardens as a nectar source.
The dried and ground flower petals constitute a popular spice in the Republic of Georgia in the Caucasus, where they are known as imeruli shaphrani (= ‘Imeretian Saffron’) from their pungency and golden colour and particular popularity in the Western province of Imereti.The spice imparts a unique,rather earthy flavour to Georgian cuisine, in which it is considered especially compatible with the flavours of cinnamon and cloves.It is also a well-nigh essential ingredient in the spice mixture khmeli-suneli,which is to Georgian cookery what garam masala is to the cookery of North India – with which Georgia shares elements of the Mughlai cuisine.
Tagetes patula florets are grown and harvested annually to add to poultry feed to help give the yolks a golden color. The florets can also be used to color human foods. A golden yellow dye is used to color animal-based textiles (wool, silk) without a mordant, but a mordant is needed for cotton and synthetic textiles.
Many cultures use infusions from dried leaves or florets. Allegedly a daily dose of a supplement containing meso-zeaxanthin, derived from marigolds reversed incurable age-related macular degeneration citation (1)
The whole plant is harvested when in flower and distilled for its essential oil. The oil is used in perfumery; it is blended with sandalwood oil to produce ‘attar genda’ perfume. About 35 kg of oil can be extracted from one hectare of the plant (yielding 2,500 kg of flowers and 25,000 kg of herbage).
The essential oil is being investigated for antifungal activity, including treatment of candidiasis and treating fungal infections in plants. Research also suggests that T. patula essential oil has the ability to be used as residual pesticide against Bedbugs.
Used in companion planting for many vegetable crops. Its root secretions are believed to kill nematodes in the soil and it is said to repel harmful insects, such as white flies on tomatoes. Positioning of marigolds close to plants that are particularly susceptible to outbreaks of whitefly, greenfly and blackfly will draw in these hungry predators and keep aphid infestations to a minimum.