Ask a Question forum: Do Tagetes patula and Tagetes patula nana cross when planted closely together?

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Aug 17, 2015 7:59 AM CST
Hello everyone,

I've got a question on saving seeds of Tagetes patula and Tagetes patula nana. I wondered whether you can obtain pure seeds from these flowers if they are planted closely to one another. Do the two mix up, is one of them dominant, or is it no problem at all?

Thanks in advance.

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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Aug 17, 2015 9:11 AM CST
I've never done this 'on purpose' Sean, but I would think the answer is - probably. We planted one kind of Marigold in our school garden 3 years ago, and have had them self-sow every year since then. They come back the same variety each year. There are no flower gardens for a long way around the garden so very little opportunity to cross.

But I can't imagine why two types of Tagetes patula would not cross if planted together. You might get a nice variety of flower forms/colors from the two original types.

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Name: Rick Corey
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Aug 18, 2015 5:04 PM CST
I would expect them to cross-pollinate freely, since they have the same species name: Tagetes patula.

Also, from the Franchi seed catalog and an online translator, "nana" seems to be Italian for "dwarf" or bush varieties.

I would expect marigolds to cross with bush marigolds. I don;t know which is dominant: normal size or dwarf size. It might be only partially dominant, in which case you might get a whole variety of sizes.

Or the wide variety might not kick in until the second year you let them cross with themselves. Sometimes the F2 hybrid offspring of two inbred F1 plants will all look fairly similar, but the F3 generation might be very varied.

@ZenMan is an expert in Zinnia genetics, but might know about dwarf marigold dominance.

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