Scientific: Tagetes lemmonii
Common: Mount Lemon marigold, Mexican bush marigold, Copper Canyon marigold, tangerine-scented marigold
Origin: Southwestern US into Mexico and central America
Pronounciation: Ta-GE-tes lem-MON-ee-i
Sunset 8-10, 12-24
Landscape Use: Accent shrub, sensory gardens, xeriscape, background, low screen. Also used to attract butterflies.
Form & Character: Mostly herbaceous perennial, vigorously upright and open, informal.
Growth Habit: Moderate to rapid, 5 to 8 feet in height with equal spread.
Foliage/Texture: Dark green pinnately compound leaves with tinges of reddish bronze to 4 inches long, heavily aromatic having a strong scent of mint and lemon; medium fine texture.
Flowers & Fruits: Small, terminal, orange yellow daisy like flowers, fruits are inconspicuous.
Seasonal Color: In Phoenix, typically grows orange yellow blooms throughout late fall to spring.
Temperature: Not tolerant of desert heat (will not survive) if planted in bright western exposures (with reflected sunlight). It is also damaged by cold at around 20oF.
Light: Full sun
Soil: Tolerant of alkaline soil.
Watering: Water deeply once every week or two during the summer. Little water needed during winter. Withhold water to slow vigor.
Pruning: Prune back heavily during late spring (after flowering) and/or in fall (before cool season growth) to stimulate growth and flowering.
Propagation: Seed, cutting
Disease and Pests: None
Additional comments: This is a great high desert native xeriscape accent perennial shrub that struggles a bit in low desert locations becase of the intense heat. Mount Lemon marigold is named after John G. Lemmon (1832-1908) who first collected this plant for cultivation in 1882 from the Huachuca Mountains in Cochise County in Arizona. Mount Lemon marigold is often confused with Tagetes lucida (Mexican tarragon).