PlantsTagetes→Mexican Mint Marigold (Tagetes lucida)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Mexican Mint Marigold
Give a thumbs up Mexican Tarragon
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 7b -15 °C (5 °F) to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10b
Plant Height: 1-3 feet
Plant Spread: 3-4 feet
Leaves: Fragrant
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late summer or early fall
Uses: Culinary Herb
Medicinal Herb
Edible Parts: Leaves
Eating Methods: Tea
Dynamic Accumulator: P (Phosphorus)
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Pollinators: Various insects
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots

The setting sun really brings out the warm fall colors in the lan

Grow Your Own Herbs for Mexican CuisineGrow Your Own Herbs for Mexican Cuisine
By pod on April 22, 2015

Some of the herbs commonly used in Mexican cuisine are bay, basil, rosemary, oregano, and sage. Most of us are familiar with these herbs and many grow them in their own herbal gardens.

(Full article9 comments)
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Posted by evelyninthegarden (Sierra foothills, Northern CA - Zone 8a) on Dec 20, 2017 4:43 PM

I have found this plant to be extremely easy care, with almost no water once established. I have in an un-fenced area, but the deer do not eat it. I can enjoy it until the first hard freeze, or when it starts snowing. This year we won't get a freeze until tonight, which is December 20th. Every year is different.

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Posted by gardengus (Indiana Zone 5b) on Feb 27, 2012 12:56 PM

I grew this plant last year and found it not worthy of space in my garden. It was neither pretty nor useful.
On a positive note it was an easy care plant and grew well.

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Posted by wildflowers (North East Texas - Zone 7b) on Jun 12, 2012 9:31 AM

I'm always finding ladybugs on the leaves of this plant, which I love having in the garden. The first year I grew the plant, I tried using it in cooking, instead of French tarragon... it's just not as good & has a slightly resinous aftertaste but it wasn't bad either. It blooms after summer, when much of the garden plants are finished flowering. I enjoy seeing the the bright, sunny looking flowers in autumn, when not much else is in bloom. Tagets lucida was and still is used by many Tribes for medicine and purifying rituals.

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Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on May 24, 2013 11:42 PM

"Tagetes lucida is a half-hardy sub-shrub native to Mexico and Central America. It is eaten as an herb and is commonly used as a substitute for tarragon. The leaves have a tarragon-like flavor, with hints of anise. Common names include Mexican marigold, pericón, Mexican mint marigold, Mexican tarragon, Spanish tarragon, Cempaxóchitl and Texas tarragon.

Mexican tarragon grows 18-30 in (46–76 cm) tall. The plant is bushy with many smooth, upright, unbranched stems. The leaves are linear to oblong, about 3 in (7.6 cm) long, and shiny medium green, not blue-green as in French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa). In late summer it bears clusters of small yellow flower heads on the ends of the stems. Needs warm dry climate and 3 tbs of water a day. The flower heads are about 0.5 in (1.3 cm) across and have 3-5 golden-yellow ray florets. The flowers are hermaphroditic (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects."

Taken from wikipedia's page at:

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Sep 29, 2013 5:31 AM

Spanish Tarragon is easier to grow than French Tarragon. It's not as spicy but can be used in most recipes calling for tarragon with satisfactory results.

Secretions from the roots (after 3-4 months of growth) appear to have an insecticidal effect and be effective against nematodes, bean weevils, asparagus weevils, as well as some weedy grasses. The dried plant is also burned to repel insects.

A yellow dye can be made from the flowers.

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Posted by Catmint20906 (PNW WA half hour south of Olympia - Zone 8a) on Aug 27, 2014 12:58 PM

Texas Tarragon (Tagetes lucida) produces small yellow blossoms in mid to late summer. It has considerable use in the garden as a companion plant, helping to repel aphids, whiteflies, cabbage maggot, corn earworm, Mexican bean beetle, rabbits, some nematodes, and plum curculio. Native to Mexico and Central America, Tagetes lucida can be used as a tarragon substitute in cooking, and is used as a medicinal tea in in Mexico and Central America.

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Posted by TexasPlumeria87 (Plano, TX - Zone 8a) on Mar 10, 2017 12:49 PM

I was a little disappointed in the blooms last year, but the aromatic foliage makes it worthy of staying in my garden. I'm hoping it will produce more blooms this Fall.

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