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Thursday, 19 January 2017

FFF269 - MARIGOLD

Tagetes erecta, the Mexican marigold, also called Aztec marigold, is a species of the genus Tagetes, family Asteraceae, native to Mexico. Despite its being native to the Americas, it is often called African marigold. In Mexico, this plant is found in the wild in the states of State of México, Puebla, and Veracruz. This plant reaches heights of between 50 and 100 cm. The Aztecs gathered the wild plant as well as cultivating it for medicinal, ceremonial and decorative purposes. It is widely cultivated commercially with many cultivars in use as ornamental plants, and for the cut-flower trade.

The ray florets have been used in lettuce salads and other foods to add colour and flavour. The dried flower petals, ground to a powder, may be used in poultry feed to ensure a good colouration of egg yolks and broiler skin, especially in the absence of well-pigmented yellow maize in the feed. This is still a use today, but now usually in the form of an extract which may have advantages of lower transport and storage cost, better stability and better utilisation. It is also used to enhance colouring in crustaceans, such as the Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei).

The oil of the flower may be added to perfumes to infuse an apple scent into them. Today, T. erecta is grown to extract lutein, a common yellow/orange food colour (E161b). The essential oil of the flower contains antioxidants.

Since prehispanic times, this plant has been used for medicinal purposes. The Cherokee used it as a skin wash and for yellow dye. This marigold may help protect certain crop plants from nematode pests when planted in fields. It is most effective against the nematode species Pratylenchus penetrans.

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16 comments:

  1. What cheerful flowers these are! Brighten any garden and good to know they have edible florets...

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  2. ...pretty to look at, but I'm not fond of their smell.

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  3. Aztec marigold sounds nice. I only know them as Tagetes. They look beautiful but don't smell as well ;-)
    Have a nice weekend.
    Elke (Germany/Frankfurt)

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  4. A delightful happy colour - I'm with the others on the smell, but I didn't realise just how many uses this little plant provided. Cheers Nick :D)

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  5. You're giving me a great idea about yellow dye! Have heard that gardeners plant them in between others, to protect them from bugs.

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  6. Hello Nick,
    I love this colorful and fresh flowers!
    Have a nice weekend,
    moni

    http://www.reflexionblog.de

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  7. So pleased I am joining you today. My husband used to plant french marigolds under the tomatoes to keep bugs away.

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  8. Hi Nick!

    I am not a friend of this flower, but you reconcile me with your photo. It is wonderfully photographed!

    Greetings

    Anne

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  9. Love this flower, and its incredibly distinctive aroma. They need heat to grow well, however, and Seattle is a challenging garden environment for them.

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  10. Hello Nick,
    I love this color.
    Have a nice weekend,
    Elke
    --------------
    https://promocia.wordpress.com/

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  11. Heisann.... just beautiful... happy weekend ;:OD)

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  12. beautiful MARIGOLD-чорнобривці-is a favorite flower of ukrainian people

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  13. Fabulous blast of colour - thank you Nick!
    Have a great week,
    Ruby

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  14. How fascinating! The county I live in has a huge poultry industry, so I'm curious if they've used marigold powder.

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