Challenge  is the word for Fandango Challenge!? Well it is and has always been a challenge to photograph butterflies with a smart phone  yesterday I got my best shots

Monarch on Mexican Marigold


I call this plant Day of The Dead Plant because it blooms late October and early November like clockwork. Best of all monarchs who migrate through here every October love it  so they stay still long enough to get a snap or two,

A pair of Monarchs on the Marigolds

Here’s a little history of the plant  from Google

“Mexican mint marigold has a lot to offer. It thrives in the hot, humid South, where many herbs languish; its small, bright flowers blossom in fall when other herbs have played out for the season; its licorice-anise flavor is a successful stand-in for French tarragon; and it looks good in the garden.

This paragon, native to the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala, is a neat, upright bush some 3 feet tall with narrow, sharply toothed dark green leaves. Its scent recalls that of tarragon more than it does the pungent aroma of its familiar bedding-plant cousins, so-called French and African marigolds. In fall, if the growing season is long enough, the tips of the stems bear clusters of 3/8-inch golden yellow flowers.

Cloud plant, as this herb is known in Mexico, was first documented there in the sixteenth century by Spanish explorers. According to legend, the ancient Aztec chieftains used a powder made from the aromatic leaves of mint marigold to calm the hapless victims of sacrificial rituals. The leaves have also been used medicinally in folk remedies for malaria, colic, and colds; a poultice of the leaves is a traditional treatment for rattlesnake bite.

Besides cloud plant, Mexican mint marigold has many other aliases, most alluding to its fragrance: sweet mace, Mexican or winter tarragon, sweet- or mint-scented marigold, root beer plant, Mexican marigold mint, and yerba anis. Its Latin generic name, Tagetes, probably comes from Tages, an Etruscan deity said to be the grandson of Jupiter. A boy with the wisdom of an old man who sprang from the ground (or perhaps was plowed up), he taught the Etruscans the art of soothsaying. The specific name, lucida, means “bright” or “shining”, probably referring to the bright yellow-gold flowers.”

2 thoughts

  1. A close relative of your marigold is cempasuchil (Tagetes erecta), which is the ‘flower of the dead” included in many offerings for the Day of the Dead (Nov 2, Dia de los Muertos).


    1. Oh yes! The Bright Golden petals are sprinkled on the ground so the ancestors can find their way to come visit on the Day Of The Dead. Is one of many story I’ve heard about marigolds. Perfect color for this time of year too 🎃💀


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