Targetes erecta, the African marigold, is confusingly, not native to Africa. Native to Mexico and Central America, Marigolds were cultivated and celebrated by the Aztec people who used them for medicine, ceremony, and celebration by adorning gods with the warm yellow and orange flowers. They remain a part of Aztec land and Mexican culture with the custom of adorning the ofrenda with marigolds on Día de Muertos. Marigolds are beloved by many Asian cultures too, especially India, where they are associated with weddings and the gods Lakshmi and Vishnu, who are believed to be the ideal couple. The uses of Marigold range from golden dyes, to essential oils, insect repellants, medicine, and food. Many members of the Targetes family are used as teas or seasonings in dishes all around the world.
Bloom time: July-December