Tagetes Species, Mexican Mint Marigold, Mexican Tarragon, Sweet Mace, Sweetscented Marigold

Tagetes lucida

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tagetes (TAG-e-teez) (Info)
Species: lucida (loo-sid-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Tagetes anethina
Synonym:Tagetes florida
Synonym:Tagetes gilletii
View this plant in a garden




Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage





Foliage Color:

Medium Green


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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama

Toney, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Brea, California

Capistrano Beach, California

Ceres, California

Los Gatos, California

NORTH FORK, California

Nevada City, 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


Saucier, Mississippi

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

Plano, Texas

Port Arthur, Texas

Princeton, Texas

Rockwall, Texas

Rosharon, Texas

Rowlett, Texas(2 reports)

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

San Marcos, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Victoria, Texas

Stanwood, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 2, 2013, Cville_Gardener from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

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


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 lookin... read more


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.


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... read more


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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


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 ... read more


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

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


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.