There are over 50 species of Tagetes and while many are popular garden plants, only T. patula, the ‘French’ Marigold is commonly used in floristry. Despite the name this species is not from France, but from the tropical areas of Central and South America. It became a popular garden plant in France in the 17th century.
French marigold flowers have many orange and yellow petals, so the flower-head has a messy dishevelled look. Outer petals tend to be more orange, while petals at the centres of the flower are yellow. Other forms have a deeper orange or red colour. There are also single petal forms which have a more typical daisy shape with 5 petals and a clearly visible flower centre. Stems are thin, while leaves are green and bipinnate.
Marigolds are annuals and grown in the field. Supplies come mostly from Victoria, NSW and Qld.
Language: ‘desire for riches’
Birth Flower: October
What to look for
- Buy when all of the flowers are open and showing full colour;
- Avoid bunches with yellow leaves,
- Keep cool at all times.
- Strip leaves from the lower half of each stem and wash stem ends thoroughly.
- Recut at least 2 cm off each stem and place in water immediately.
- Always use a preservative as this will help maintain open flowers.
- Replace vase water with fresh preservative every day.
Botanical Name: Tagetes patula
Common Names: French Marigold
Stem Length: 30 to 50 cm
Country of Origin: Mexico to Guatemala
Available Colours: Orange, Red