Sweet-Scented Marigold

Tagetes lucida Asteraceae

Other names

Death Flower, Sweet Mace, Sweet-Scented Mexican Marigold

Growth habit



Cultivated as annual

Native distribution

Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras

Biocultural value

Leaves and flowers have a strong anise flavor and can be used as a tarragon substitute. In India marigold flowers are offered to the goddess Bhagwati during the fall Navrati festival.


Robison Herb Garden

Source of plant

Johnny's Selected Seeds


Glabrous perennial, 30-80cm, with a thick woody base. Stems branched above, striate. Leaves 4-10cm, opposite, more or less sessile, narrowly lanceolate, usually blunt, sharply toothed, lower teeth hair-tipped, glandular. Capitula 1cm diameter, many, in flat cymose inflorescence; peduncles very short; involucre 9-10x2-3mm, cylindrical, phyllaries 5-7, apex awl-shaped; ray florets usually 3, yellow, disc florets 5-7. Fruit 6-7mm, grooved; pappus scales 5-6, 2 bristle-like, 5mm, remainder oblong, c2mm, blunt.

USDA Hardiness Zone


Special characteristics

tender perennial, food, other ethnobotanical uses