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A Introduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Marigold, African Marigold, Aztec marigold, Big Marigold, American Marigold • Hindi: गेंदा Genda • Kannada: ಚಂಡುಮಲ್ಲಿಗೆ, ಚೆಂಡುಮಲ್ಲಿಗೆ Chendu mallige, ಸೀಮೆಶಾವಂತಿಗೆ Seeme shaavantige, ಗೊಂಡೆಗಿಡ Gonde gida ಚೆಂಡುಹೂ Chendu hoo • Konkani: गाँडेंफूल Gondephool • Manipuri: ꯁꯅꯥꯔꯩ Sanarei • Marathi: झेंडूफूल Jhenduphool • Nepali: सयपत्री Sayapatri • Telugu: బంతి Banthi • Mizo: Derhken
Botanical name: Tagetes erecta    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Tagetes patula, Tagetes tenuifolia, Tagetes excelsa

Marigold are the very popular flowers commonly cultivated in India and other countries. They are widely adaptable to varying soils and climatic conditions and have a good flowering duration. It is an annual herb growing up to 3 ft by 1 ft. Leaves are 3-12 cm overall, principal lobes/leaflets 9-25, lanceshaped to linear-lanceshaped, 15-25 x 3-8 mm. Flower-heads are borne singly, on stalks 3-10 cm. Involucres are 1-2.2 x 0.5-1.2 cm; phyllaries 5-8. Ray florets are few to hundred in various single and double varieties, blade yellow to orange, red-brown. Disk florets are 50-120; florets 7-12 mm. Despite their various misleading names, all marigolds are native to Mexico, cultivated worldwide, and are used in rituals in various cultures.
Medicinal uses: It is used to treat stomach ache, diarrhea, liver illnesses, vomiting, indigestion and toothache. Also useful as a skin wash and for yellow dye. It also kills gram negative and gram positive bacteria in vitro. This helps to protect certain crop plants from nematodes. Petals have been used in lettuce salads and other foods to add colour and flavour. The dried flower petals, ground to a powder, may be used in poultry feed. The flower oil may be added to perfumes to infuse an apple scent into them.

Identification credit: Thingnam Girija Photographed in Delhi.

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