/mar"i gohld'/, n.
1. any of several chiefly golden-flowered composite plants, esp. of the genus Tagetes, as T. erecta, having strong-scented foliage and yielding an oil that repels root parasites.
2. any of several unrelated plants, esp. of the genus Calendula, as C. officinalis, the pot marigold.
[1300-50; ME; see MARY (the Virgin), GOLD]

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Any of about 30 species of annual herbaceous plants that make up the genus Tagetes in the composite family, native to southwestern North America.

The name also refers to the pot marigold (calendula) and unrelated plants of several families. Marigolds include popular garden ornamentals such as African marigold (T. erecta) and French marigold (T. patula), which have solitary or clustered red, orange, and yellow flowers and usually finely cut leaves. Because the strongly scented leaves discourage insect pests, marigolds are often planted among vegetable crops.

French marigold (Tagetes patula).

Robert Bornemann/Photo Researchers

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      any plant of the genus Tagetes of the family Asteraceae, consisting of about 50 species of annual herbs native to southwestern North America, tropical America, and South America. The name marigold also refers to the pot marigold (genus Calendula) and unrelated plants of several families.

      African marigold (T. erecta), French marigold (T. patula), and several other species are grown as garden ornamentals, although most species have strong-scented leaves. Members of the genus Tagetes have attractive yellow, orange, or red flowers that are solitary or clustered; leaves opposite each other on the stem that usually are finely cut; and bracts (leaflike structures) that form a cup-shaped base below each flower head.

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Universalium. 2010.

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