The green links below add additional plants to the comparison table. Blue links lead to other Web sites.
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little marigold, miniature marigold, muster john Henry, southern marigold, stinking roger, stinkweed, wild marigold

African marigold, African or French marigold, American marigold, Aztec marigold, French marigold, French or African marigold, Mexican marigold

Habit Annuals, 30–100(–180+) cm. Annuals, 10–120+ cm.

blades 80–150+ mm overall, lobes or leaflets 9–17+, narrowly lanceolate to lance-linear, 12–25(–50+) × (2–)4–7+ mm.

blades 30–120(–250+) mm overall, principal lobes/leaflets 9–25, lanceolate to lance-linear, 15–25(–45+) × 3–8(–12+) mm.


1–5+ mm.

30–100(–150+) mm.


7–10+ × 1.5–3 mm.

10–22+ × (3–)5–12+ mm.

Ray florets


laminae yellow, ± ovate to elliptic, 1–2 mm.

(3–)5–8+ (to 100+ in “double” cultivars);

laminae yellow to orange, red-brown (sometimes particolored: yellow/red-brown), or white (some cultivars), ± flabellate to oval-quadrate, (2–)12–18(–25+) mm.

Disc florets


corollas 3–4 mm.


corollas 7–12+ mm.


in ± corymbiform clusters.

borne ± singly.


(4.5–)6–7+ mm;

pappi of 1–2 ± subulate scales 2–3+ mm plus 3–5 distinct, ovate to lanceolate scales 0.5–1 mm.

6–11 mm;

pappi of 0–2, ± subulate-aristate scales 6–12+ mm plus 2–4 distinct or connate, linear-oblong, ± erose scales 2–6+ mm.


= 48.

= 24, 48.

Tagetes minuta

Tagetes erecta

Phenology Flowering Sep–Oct. Flowering ± year round.
Habitat Disturbed sites Disturbed sites
Elevation 0–100+ m (0–300+ ft) 0–1000+ m (0–3300+ ft)
from FNA
AL; CA; CT; FL; GA; MA; MD; NC; PA; SC; VA; South America [Introduced in North America]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
AL; AR; CA; CT; FL; IL; KS; KY; LA; MA; MD; MO; NC; NY; OH; OK; PA; SC; UT; VA; VT; WI; WY; Mexico
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]

Tagetes minuta is widely cultivated for use as a condiment and has become widely established or persists after plantings.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Cultivars of Tagetes erecta are widely grown in gardens and, commercially, for cut flowers. They often persist after abandoned plantings. Tetraploid plants (2n = 48) with smaller involucres and wholly or partially red-brown corollas included here in T. erecta have been called T. patula by some botanists.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 21, p. 236. FNA vol. 21, p. 236.
Parent taxa Asteraceae > tribe Heliantheae > subtribe Pectidinae > Tagetes Asteraceae > tribe Heliantheae > subtribe Pectidinae > Tagetes
Sibling taxa
T. erecta, T. lemmonii, T. micrantha
T. lemmonii, T. micrantha, T. minuta
Synonyms T. patula, T. tenuifolia
Name authority Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 2: 887. (1753) Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 2: 887. (1753)
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