The “Other” Marigold

Credit: Van Dam Seeds

The common name “marigold” may cause some confusion.

The original wild pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) is a native of Southern Europe. It is a 60-centimetre tall, pale-green, lanky plant with yellow flowers, five centimetres across. Its Northern European cousin, field marigold (Calendula arvensis), does not exceed 30 centimetres and its orange-yellow flowers are not much larger than a dime.

The “other” marigolds – African marigold (Tagetes erecta), French marigold (Tagetes patula) and signet marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia, also known as T. signata) – hail from the Americas.

Both genera, annuals in our climate, are members of the large daisy (Compositae) family.