The Mexican Tarragon
Tagetes lucida is commonly called the ‘Mexican tarragon’ or ‘Mexican Marigold’. It evergreen, however a heavy frost will knock it back. Also known as the Aztec marigold this is a perennial that will reach around 1m and pretty yellow flowers in summer.
This is a plant that is used for medicinal and religious purposes. It is used as a tarragon substitute as well as for making herbal teas. The leaves have an aniseed flavour and it is also used in salads and as a garnish for fruit salads. It is also used to make incense and with the attractive yellow flowers makes an excellent garden plant in dry climates.
The foliage also has insect repellant properties and tinctures have also been made from the plant..
It flowers from spring right through summer and the single yellow flowers do look like marigolds.
This is a drought tolerant plant that requires a well drained soil and a sunny position, frost free please. This is an excellent plant for the cottage garden. Tagetes lucida or ‘Mexican tarragon’ requires little extra fertiliser and can be cut back in late winter to reshape and tidy up.
- Position – Full sun to a little shade.
- Soil – Well drained humus rich. – In damp soils the root systems can easily rot.
- Planting Distance – Plant at around 30 cm apart – they will spread and form a clump.
- Foliage – Mid green.
- Flowers – Golden buttery yellow.
- Flowering period – Late spring to summer and autumn
- Drought tolerant – Yes, however flowers will be more prolific, and better formed with moisture through the flowering period.
- Common names – ‘Mexican tarragon’, ‘Mexican Marigold’, Sweet Mace and Aztec marigold.
Very easy from seed, and also from cuttings.
A dwarf sterile variety, Tagetes Gold Medal that will reach around 30 cm in height is an excellent choice for those who are not fond of self seeding.
Tagetes lucida plants are available for sale from the following participating nurseries
412 James Lane, Fern Hill VIC. 3458 - Phone 0419002651
Large range of Rare plants, Climbers, Bulbs, Perennials Fruit Trees, Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. Available both Retail and by Mail Order