Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mexican Mint Marigold, Spanish Tarragon, Texas Tarragon, Sweet Mace, Yerbis Anis
Tagetes lucida

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tagetes (TAG-e-teez) (Info)
Species: lucida (loo-sid-uh) (Info)

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

45 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From woody stem cuttings
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By herbin
Thumbnail #1 of Tagetes lucida by herbin

By Kaufmann
Thumbnail #2 of Tagetes lucida by Kaufmann

By htop
Thumbnail #3 of Tagetes lucida by htop

By Kaufmann
Thumbnail #4 of Tagetes lucida by Kaufmann

By htop
Thumbnail #5 of Tagetes lucida by htop

By htop
Thumbnail #6 of Tagetes lucida by htop

By saya
Thumbnail #7 of Tagetes lucida by saya

There are a total of 24 photos.
Click here to view them all!


14 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Cville_Gardener On Jun 2, 2013, Cville_Gardener from Middle TN
United States (Zone 7a) wrote:

Needs winter protection in my area/zone so best grown in a pot or other container. Good fragrance. Well worth the effort.

Positive Shirrush On Jun 24, 2012, Shirrush from Ramat Gan
Israel wrote:

I feel like an idiot! I walked into my local retail nursery today, and they had a rather amazing array of herbs, including some of the species I had to procure through seed exchanges with Europe. I was shown this "4-Seasons Tarragon", and I immediately bought one for about $4.-. I haven't grown or seen real Tarragon for more than 30 years, but these opposite, finely serrated leaves did not look much like what I remembered. It does taste nice, and what it is worth as a Tarragon substitute remains to be assessed. In any case, I always wanted Tagetes lucida too, which I had encountered and photographed once in the garden of the Botany dept. at Hebrew U. in Jerusalem where absolutely nothing is labeled. It did cause me intense puzzlement and considerable determination difficulties! Upon looking up this plant's "other" properties, I have a distinct feeling it going to be very popular within the Tel Aviv area Community Gardens Movement!

Positive bonehead On Sep 19, 2010, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Tidy plant about 2' tall with pretty little solid orange blooms and a strong licorice scent. A mild tea made from the leaves can calm an upset stomach, be relaxing, and alleviate hangover symptoms. A stronger tea can induce a mild state of euphoria (hence the 'lucida' in the name). Have not tried to overwinter yet, but have saved seeds if it does not survive.

Positive PammiePi On Jul 31, 2010, PammiePi from Green Cove Springs, FL wrote:

Bought this plant for my butterfly garden last season (2009) & this is my first experience with it. I planted these two plants in a very hot, sandy, sunny garden and the plant performs wonderfully (many herbs can't handle the Florida intense heat & humidity).

We had a very cold winter & the Tarragon died back, but by early spring it returned, now it looks like it did when I first planted it, lush, thick and green. Anxiously awaiting for the blooms to return which according to this information would be late summer-early fall, though the leaves & plant itself even when not in bloom is quite attractive.

This plant is a winner in my garden. I'll be planting more of these around in my various hot, sunny garden locations. As easy care & drought tolerant as the Lantana which does so well here (NE Florida).

Positive debles On May 26, 2010, debles from Tulsa, OK wrote:

I've had no luck growing French tarragon here, but this plant thrives and it's much prettier.

I grow it in a very well drained bed that's right next to the brick foundation so it's somewhat sheltered from the extremes of winter.

Great addition to fish and I sometimes add it to hollandaise to mimic bernaise sauce.

Neutral pepenino On Feb 1, 2010, pepenino from Monrovia, CA wrote:

I have never experienced T. Lucida as having a height over ten in. It flowered semi-abundantly. I prefer to have several of these plants together. Ph was 7. Flavor for culinary is much stronger than french tarragon. Used the leaves and flowers for shell fish like clams with white wine.

Positive rebecca30 On Nov 7, 2009, rebecca30 from Cary, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

My Tagetes lucida was winter sown and grew from seed. I had it in a part sun spot, moved, and relocated to a full sun in which is flourished to a small bushy plant. My is not as erect as some other pics but i love the smell on it, its tarragon afterall.

BTW my flower pics are blooming as of Nov 6, 2009, year#2 from wintersown seed in a soda bottle!

Positive organic1 On Feb 26, 2008, organic1 from DFW Metroplex, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

The leaves are a nice addition to herb tea if you like the taste of licorice. The flowers are nice in a salad.

Positive deekayn On Nov 8, 2006, deekayn from Tweed Coast
Australia wrote:

I have been growing this lovely plant in the coastal sub-tropics of Australia with neglect and it has flourished. It is protected from most of the salt laden wind we receive, and since we have been in a drought for a few years, it has survived with mininal watering.

Positive krishnatulsi On Nov 21, 2005, krishnatulsi from Nevada City, CA wrote:

It's late November and this beauty is in full luxurious bloom here at 2,700 feet near Nevada City, California. It's grown to five feet tall by six feet wide in its first year as a transplant, with well over a hundred flowers and many more buds. It previously survived at least one winter at the same elevation in a friend's garden.

It's especially beautiful next to a red Pineapple Sage.

And, the numerous deer that wander by have left it entirely alone!

Positive saya On Apr 17, 2005, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

Love this little Tagetes. I 've sowed it for the season 2004. I haven't seen it return yet so I 've sown it again. The scent is wonderfull like all Tagetes...but this one is much different. For spicing my dinners I prefer the French tarragon that I also have in my garden.

Positive kente On Aug 15, 2004, kente from Oakland, CA wrote:

This exuberant plant is growing very well in Oakland, CA. It is in a mature bed with other perennials; lavender, oregano, and salvia guarantica. It is very dense and at mid-August is just beginning to flower. So far, it has been pest free and the foliage is lovely, deep green with just a hint of shine to it.

Positive thomasma On Nov 29, 2003, thomasma from Huntsville, AL wrote:

I live in Huntsville, Alabama and this is the first year that I have grown the Texas Tarragon. We recently moved into this house and I don't have a big planting area yet so I planted it in a spot near my sunroom that doesn't get lots of sun and is protected by a fence. Even after several days of below zero weather the plant is filled with bright flowers and it looks very healthly. I will continue to monitor its progress.

Nov 2003

Positive htop On Aug 31, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Performing best in full sun and well drained soil, Mexican Mint Marigold is easy to grow. Mine have become "leggy" and do not have a profusion of blooms when not provided a full sun for most of the day setting. Though some state that it is fairly drought-tolerant, I find that I need to water it more often than my other native Texas xeriscape plants. However, this may be because I have it growing in large containers (I usually test out a new plant that I have never grown before in different locations to determine its "favorite spot" before in-ground planting).

The plant dies back during cold weather, but returns with the spring. Grow it as an annual in Northern climates. Propagation methods include seeding, root dividing or rooting of cuttings. Tarragon cannot withstand our Central/South Texas long, hot summers, so "Texas Tarragon" is a substitution. Most hispanics call it anise because it is not an identical substitution, being much milder in flavor than Tarragon. Place it in teas and punches along with lemon flavored herbs or lemon juice to make a refreshing drink. Blooming in the fall when most other perennials are starting to decline, its golden marigold-like blossoms on the 30-48 inch tall clumps are a welcome and beautiful sight. The image by herbin on this page shows its beautiful foliage which provides textural interest and nice green color in the garden while one waits for the plant to burst forth with its bright, cheerful blooms.

Positive plant1111 On Jan 22, 2003, plant1111 from Cambridge Springs, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Good for teas, salads, and eating fresh from the garden!

Neutral herbin On Aug 14, 2001, herbin from Park Hill, OK (Zone 5b) wrote:

This tender perennial is used like tarragon in the south where tarragon does not grow well. Small yellow flowers in the fall. Has over-wintered in a mild zone 6 winter, but seldom gets to bloom before it is frosted.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Toney, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Brea, California
Capistrano Beach, California
Ceres, California
Los Gatos, California
Nevada City, California
North Fork, California
Oakland, California
Santa Ana, California
Temecula, California
Altamonte Springs, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Brooker, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Green Cove Springs, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Miami, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Sebastian, Florida
Shalimar, Florida
Peachtree City, Georgia
Smyrna, Georgia
Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Binghamton, New York
Cary, North Carolina
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Sweet Home, Oregon
Okatie, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Belton, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Carrollton, Texas
Cleburne, Texas
Coppell, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Deer Park, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (3 reports)
Galveston, Texas
Harlingen, Texas
Houston, Texas (5 reports)
Leander, Texas
Marquez, Texas
Port Arthur, Texas
Princeton, Texas
Rockwall, Texas
Rosharon, Texas
Rowlett, Texas (2 reports)
San Antonio, Texas
San Marcos, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Victoria, Texas
Stanwood, Washington

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