Mountain marigold

Tagetes lemmonii


Mountain marigold is one of the few winter flowering shrubs that are well adapted to drought tolerant and southwestern style gardens. Shocking displays of deep yellow-orange flowers stand out in bold contrast to most plants in early to mid-winter. It is a large and billowy shrub with flexible stems and highly pungent foliage fragrance; there’s no mistaking it to be a type of marigold. It is a large woody perennial growing with a mounding habit, 3-5 ft. tall and spreading to 6 ft. wide. Bright golden-yellow daisy-like flowers occur in large quantities from late fall through winter and attract butterflies.

This southwestern perennial is adapted to arid climate conditions with cool winters and hot summers and long periods of drought. Plants exposed to freezing temperatures can die to the ground, but quickly regrow in spring. The best performance occurs in well-drained soils with low amounts of supplemental water during summer. It is a colorful plant that provides many weeks of flowering and requires little care. Plants should be cut back hard after flowering to control size and improve future flowering. It is a good background, slope and flowering accent plant in both commercial and residential landscapes.

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Sprawling, Mounding
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Dark green
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Season: Winter, Fall
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Frost, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Slopes, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Parks and open space, Grouped, Flowering accent plant, Commercial spaces, Banks, Background plant, Attracts butterflies
Height: 3 ft. – 5 ft.
Width: 6 ft.