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Family Asteraceae
Tagetes patula L.

Xiao wan shou ju

Scientific names Common names
Tagetes corymbosa Sweet Amarillo (Span., Tag.)
Tagetes erecta L. Dwarf marigold (Engl.)
Tagetes ernstii H.Rob. & Nicolson Marigold (Engl.)
Tagetes excelsa Soule French marigold (Engl.)
Tagetes heterocarpha Rydb.  
Tagetes major L. Gaertn. [Illegitimate]  
Tagetes patula L.  
Tagetes remotiflora Kuntze  
Tagetes tenuifolia Millsp.  
Some compilations list Tagetes patula and Tagetes erecta as synonyms. Quisumbing's and other compilations list them as separate species. Both share the common name "marigold" and "amarillo."
The most commonly cultivated varieties of Tagetes are known variously as Mexican marigolds or African marigolds (usually referring to cultivars and hybrids of Tagetes erecta, although this species is not native to Africa), or French marigolds (usually referring to hybrids and cultivars of Tagetes patula, many of which were developed in France, although the species is not native to that country). (Ajaytao)
The Plant List lists Tagetes patula L. is a synonym of Tagetes erecta L
Tagetes erecta L. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BANGLADESH: Gada, Genda.
CHINESE: Hong huang cao, Xi fan ju, Chou ju hua, Duan zi hua, Xiao wan shou ju.
GERMAN: Studentenblume
SPANISH: Amapola amarilla, Amarillo, Copetes, Copetillo

Amarillo is an erect, smooth, branched, rank-smelling herb, 0.3 to 0.8 meters high. Leaves are 4 to 7 centimeters long, deeply pinnatifid with linear-lanceolate segments. Heads are solitary, 1.5 to 2 centimeters long, 2 to 4 centimeters in diameter, borne on long peduncles which are thickened upward. Flowers are pale to deep yellow, sometimes red. Achenes are 6 to 7 millimeters long.

• Species is similar to Ahito (Tagetes erecta) except that it is smaller, with finer leaves and smaller heads.

- Cultivated for ornamental purposes in the Philippines.
- Thoroughly naturalized in Lepanto and the Benguet Subprovinces, along gravel banks and streams, at altitudes of 1,200 to 1,500 meters.

- Native of Mexico.
- Now widely distributed in cultivation.

- Flowers yield a yellow crystalline substance, quercetagetine. The dye was found several shades browner than quercetin.
- Flowers contain volatile oil, 0.57%.
- Fruit contains phytomelan, 3.2%.

- Study of roots, leaves and flowers yielded thiophenes, steroidal and terpenoidal type constituents.
- Screening of phytochemical profiles of T. patula and T. erecta leaf and flower extract showed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, tannins, and phenolic compounds as major secondary metabolites. (21)
- Study of essential oil of flowers yielded eight major constituents of volatile oil viz., β-ocimene, α-terpinolene, trans-caryophyllene, Z-ocimenone, dl-limonene, piperitenone, β-pinene and car-3-en-2-one. (see study below) (20)
- Study of T. patula flowers for lutein esters isolated and identified lutein, lutein dimyristate (ca25%), lutein myristate palmitate (ca 33%), lutein dipalmitate (ca 26%) and lutein palmitate stearate (ca 10%). (see study below)

- Flowers considered carminative.
- Considered aromatic, digestive, diuretic and sedative.

- Studies have suggested nematicidal, larvicidal, hypotensive, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, membrane stabilizing properties.

Parts utilized

- Flowers used in refreshing drinks.
- Leaves and essential oil used as food flavoring.
- Flowers considered carminative and refreshing.
- Decoction of flowers used to relieve flatulence.
- Used for treatment of indigestion, colic, severe constipation, coughs, dysentery.
- Externally, used for sore eyes and rheumatism.
- In Bangladesh, used for treatment of pain, inflammation, wounds and cuts, and for lowering blood sugar. (13) Paste of leaves applied to cuts and wounds as soon as possible after preparation. Leaves also applied to external bleeding. (19)
Dye: Dried flowers used as adulterant of saffron, used for coloring foods yellow. Also used for coloring textiles.
- Insecticidal: Secretion from roots have an insecticidal effect on the soil, against nematodes and keeled slugs.
- Repellent: Repels insects (whiteflies).

Larvicidal: Study of T patula essential oil on fourth instar larvae of mosquito species showed greatest activity against A aegypti, followed by An. stephansi and C quinquefasciatus. Results were compared to synthetic insecticide, malathion. (1)
Nematicidal: Extract of yellow flowers was studied to identify phytochemicals lethal to economically important cyst nematode Heterodera zeae. Phytochemical analysis yielded phenolic compounds (flavonoids and phenolic acids). Results showed crude extracts to have promising nematicidal activity. Commercially obtained α-terthienyl and gallic and linoleic acids showed 100% mortality at concentrations of 0.125% after 24 h. (9)
Antibacterial / Patuletin / Flower: Study showed the methanol extract of the flower to possess antimicrobial activity against a number of bacteria. Study isolated a flavonoid patuletin as the active antibacterial principle. (4)
Antimicrobial: Study of various extracts evaluated the antimicrobial activity of T. erecta and T. pistula flowers. Results showed the extracts of both species possess potential broad spectrum antibacterial activity.
Hypotensive / Hypertensive Effects: Study of methanolic extract of roots of Tagetes patula isolated well known citric and malic acid as hypotensive, and pyridine hydrochloride as a hypertensive constituent. (5)
Sesquiterpene Rich Volatile Seed Oil: Study of hydrodistilled volatile seed oil yielded forty constituents, comprising 94% of the total oil. The constituents of the volatile oil were (E)-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, germacrene D, (Z)-ß-ocimene and limonene. The chemical composition was characterized as sesquiterpene and a-terthienyl rich with appreciable biocidal (insecticidal and nematicidal) and pharmacological potential. (10)
Essential Oil / Aerial Parts / Antibacterial: Essential oil of aerial parts yielded major constituents of piperitone (33.77 %), trans-β-ocymene (14.83 %), terpinolene (13.87 %) and β-caryophyllene (9.56 %). The essential oil showed strong antibacterial activity against important human pathogenic Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria. (11)
Antifungal: Methanol extracts from 10 cultivars of T. patula were assayed on two phytopathogenic fungi: Botrytis cinerea and Fusarium moniliforme. B. cinerea showed high dose-dependent inhibition. Results suggest Tagetes patula could be a potential source of antifungal substances and that thiophene activity is strongly increased by UV-A radiation. (12)
Antihyperglycemic / Antinociceptive / Stems: Study of methanol extract of stems in glucose-loaded Swiss albino mice showed significant and dose-dependent reduction of blood sugar, comparable to glibenclamide. In antinociceptive testing with intraperitoneal acetic acid-induced gastric pain model in mice, there was dose-dependent reduction in number of writhing in mice. (13)
Flavonoids / Anti-Inflammatory: Patuletin and patulitrin, major components isolated from florets of Tagetes patula, were found to inhibit acute inflammation in mice. Oral administration suppressed hind-paw edema induced by carrageenin and histamine, while topical administration inhibited ear edema induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate and arachidonic acid. (14)
Membrane Stabilizing Activity / Cytotoxicity / Antioxidant / Antimicrobial: Extractives of T. patula significantly protected lysis of mice erythrocyte membrane induced by hypotonic solution and heat. A hexane soluble fraction and crude methanolic extract exhibited moderate antioxidant activity. In brine shrimp lethality assay, crude methanolic extract showed strong cytotoxic activity. Extractives also showed moderate antimicrobial activity against test organisms. (15)
Fibrous Corns and Callus: Study reports on the local use of T. patula for reduction of pain, permitting a deeper callus reduction and more complete enucleation of the corn. (16)
Anti-Candida Activity: Study evaluated T. patula extracts against strains of Candida glabrata, C. krusei, C. parapsilosis, and C. tropicalis. Results showed excellent activity of ethanolic and methanolic extracts against C. glabrata. All samples were ineffective against the other three strains of Candida. (17)
Essential Oil / Antioxidant: Study of essential oil of cultivated Tagetes patula flowers identified eight major constituents of the volatile oil. The essential oil showed significant antioxidant activity with an IC50 of 28 µg/ml compared to ascorbic acid 15.0 µg/ml. (see constituents above) (20)
Comparative Antifungal Activity: Study made a comparative analysis of the mycostatic activity of leaf and flower extracts of T. erecta and T. patula in ethanol. All extracts showed inhibitory effect on the growth of of C. albicans, A. niger, S. cerevisiae and A. flavus. T erecta leaf extract showed the highest antifungal activity among all four extracts tested. (21)
• Antibacterial / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the antibacterial potential of methanolic and ethanolic extracts of aerial parts against clinical bacterial isolates including three gram-positive (B. cereus, S. aureus, S. epidermis) and five gram negative bacteria (S. typhi, K. pneumonia, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, and P. mirabilis). Both extracts showed activity against B. cereus, S. aureus, S. epidermis, and S. typhi. (23)
• Antioxidant / Cytoprotective / Protection o Jurkat T- Cells against Oxidative Stress / Flowers: Study evaluated the potential of T. patula compounds to alleviate the oxidative strezs in H2O2-challenged human lymphoblastoid Jurkat T-cells. Crude extracts of marigold flowers and purified fractions containing flavonoids patuletin, quercetagetin, and quercetin and derivatives, as well as lutein, were brought into contact with Jurkat cells challenged with H2O2. Oxidative stress was alleviated by marigold ingredients that demonstrated high radical scavenging capacity and enhanced the activity antioxidant enzymes. Flavonoid fraction rich in quercetin and quercetagetin showed highest cytoprotective activity, while patulein in high dose exerted a cytotoxic effect associated with its anticancer potential. (24)
• Acaricidal / Ovicidal / Repellent / Leaves: Study evaluated the acaricidal, ovicidal, and repellent effects of T. patula leaf extracts against both adult female and egg stages of Tetranychus urticae under laboratory conditions. Five bioactive compounds were identified in the ethanol leaf extract and the major compound was phytol (62.72%). The extract exhibited toxicant, ovicidal, repellent and oviposition-deterrent activities. Study suggests a combination of multiple modes of action of different plant components, alone or in synergism, which may delay the development of mite resistance. (25)
• Hypertensive / Toxicological Study / Roots: Study on the effects of methanolic extract of T. patula roots on blood pressure led to the isolated of citric acid (1) and malic acid (7) as hypotensive constituents, and pyridine hydrochloride (4) as hypertensive constituents of the plant, along with a new constituent, 2--hydroxy, 5-hydroxymethyl furan (9). Compounds 1 and 7 caused 71% and 43% fall in mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) at doses of 15 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg, respectively, while pyridine hydrochloride produced a 34% rise in MABP at dos4 of 30 mg/kg. LD50 and LD100 of citric acid in mice were 545 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg, respectively. (26)

• Extraction of Flavonoids / Larvicidal Against Ae. aegypti / Flowers: Study reports on an optimized extraction process through the biomonitoring of flavonoids using simple0centroid design, evaluating various solvents by total flavonoid content. The acetone extract yielded the highest total flavonoid content, 25.13 ± 1.02% (4.07%), and the best radical scavenging activity with IC50 of 15.74 µg/ml ± 1.09 (6.92%). A correlation between TFC and radical scavenging activity showed flavonoids contribute significantly to antioxidant capacity. Preliminary study on biological activity of optimized extracts showed a larvicidal effect of the acetone extract on Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. (27)
• Lutein Esters / Yellow Food Color: Study of flowers for lutein esters yielded lutein myristate palmitate (ca 33% of total carotenoids) as major lutein, followed by lutein dipalmitate (ca 26%), lutein dimyristate (ca 25%), and palmitate stearate (ca 10%). A yellow food color additive prepared from T. patula carotenoids showed high stability towards daylight and room temperature, and can be safely used as substitute for synthetic dyestuffs like sunset yellow or other imported natural color additive like Annato. (28)
• Anti-Chronic Nonbacterial Prostatitis Mechanism: Study evaluated the anti-chronic nonbacteril prostatitis (CNP) mechanism of T. patula by metabolomics and network pharmacology. Study showed that flavonoifds and polysaccharides of T. patula could alleviate prostatitis by improving the level of DHT, reducing secretion of PSA and TNF-
α. Up to 28 potential biomarkers and 8 key metabolic pathways related to CNP were elucidated by metabolomics analysis. The anti-CNP mechanism of flavonoids and polysaccharides may be through reduction of expression of inflammatory factors, adjusting hormone level, and regulating amino acid metabolism, energy metabolism, and glucose and lipid metabolism. (29)
• Effect and Benefits of Packaging on Shelf-Life and Lutein Content of Flowers: Study evaluated the effect of packaging design configurations on preservation of marigold cut flowers. LDPE pack was the best design among the ten package designs in preserving lutein content of flowers and extending shelf-life. The economically viable packaging can also boost export potential of the ornamental flower and also allow utilization of the nutraceutical potency of lutein. (30)

- Ornamental cultivation.
- Wild-crafted.
- Extracts and other products in the cybermarket.

Updated September 2019 / August 2017 / May 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / File:Tagetes patula, Burdwan, West Bengal, India 19 01 2013 1 (2).jpg / Joydeep / 19 Jan 2013 / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / File:Gc31 tagetes erecta and patula.jpg / Tagetes erecta and Tagetes patula, gouache on vellum, in: Gottorfer Codex / 1649-1659 / Hans-Simon Holtzbecker / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Larvicidal activity of Tagetes patula essential oil against three mosquito species / V S S Dharmagadda et al / Bioresource Technology • Volume 96, Issue 11, July 2005, Pages 1235-1240 / doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2004.10.020
Tagetes patula - L. / Plants For A Future
Chemical constituents of Tagetes Patula L / Husan Bano et al / Pak J Pharm Sci Jul 2002;15(2):1-12.
Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities of Different Parts of Tagetes patula.: Preparation of Patuletin Derivatives / Shaheen Faizi, Humaira Siddiqi et al / Pharmaceutical Biology, 2008, Vol. 46, No. 5 , Pages 309-320 (doi:10.1080/13880200801887476)
Hypotensive and Toxicological Study of Citric Acid and Other Constituents from Tagetes patula Roots / Rubeena Saleem, Mohammad Ahmad et al / Arch Pharm Res Vol 27, No 10, 1037-1042, 2004
In Vitro Anti Bacterial Potential of Different Extracts of Tagetes Erecta and Tagetes Patula / Reena Jain, Nidhi Katare, Vijay Kumar, Amit Kumar Samanta, Swati Goswami and C.K. Shrotri / Journal of Natural Sciences, Vol.2, No.5, 2012
Tagetes patula L. / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Tagetes patula / Common names / ZipcodeZoo
Isolation of nematicidal compounds from Tagetes patula L. yellow flowers: structure-activity relationship studies against cyst nematode Heterodera zeae infective stage larvae. / Faizi S, Fayyaz S, Bano S, Iqbal EY, Lubna, Siddiqi H, Naz A. / Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (Impact Factor: 2.91). 08/2011; 59(17):9080-93. / DOI: 10.1021/jf201611b
/ M. B. HASSANPOURAGHDAM1, F. SHEKARI2, J. EMARAT-PARDAZ3, M. SAFI SHALAMZARI4 / Journal of Central European Agriculture, 2011, 12(2), p.304-311
Antifungal Activity of Tagetes patula Extracts / D. Mares, B. Tosi, C. Romagnoli and F. Poli / Pharmaceutical Biology, 2002, Vol. 40, No. 5 , Pages 400-404
A Preliminary Study Of The Antihyperglycemic And Antinociceptive Potential Of Tagetes Patula l. (Asteraceae) Stems / Islam Sathi, Sharmin; Rahman, Shiblur; Shoyeb, Abu; Debnath, Kallol; Haque, Ariful; Khatun, Zubaida; Hossain, Shakhawat; Rahman Shelley, Moshiur; Rahmatullah, Mohammed / Advances in Natural & Applied Sciences, 2012; Vol 6, Issue 8: pp 1515
Effects of Flavonoids from French Marigold (Florets of Tagetes patula L.) on Acute Inflammation Model / Ken Yasukawa and Yoshimasa Kasahara / International Journal of Inflammation, Volume 2013 (2013) /
Evaluation of Membrane Stabilizing Activity, Total Phenolic Content, Brine Shrimp Lethality Bioassay, Thrombolytic and Antimicrobial Activities of Tagetes patula L. / Md. Ruhul Kuddus, Mirza Sonia Alam, Sharmin Reza Chowdhury, Farhana Rumi, Md. Al Amin Sikder, and Mohammad A. Rashid* / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Vol. 1 No. 4 2012
Marigold Therapy (Tagetes Patula) for Chronic Fibrous Corns and Callus - A Case Study / Davies, Christopher S. and Murgatroyd, M. / Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists International Conference, May 2001, Harrogate, UK. (Unpublished)
Anti-Candida Activity in Vitro of Tagetes patula L. (Asteraceae) Extracts / FAS Politi 1, VYM Watanabe 1, GM Figueira 2, RCLR Pietro / Planta Med 2013; 79 - PD1 / DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1348567
Tagetes erecta – Marigold / Ajaytao
Ethnomedicinal uses of herbs by indigenous medicine practitioners of Jhenaidah district, Bangladesh / Shanjida Islam Tumpa, Md. Iqbal Hossain and Tasneema Ishika / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 2014; 3 (2):23-33
Essential Oil Contents and Antioxidant Activity of Tagetes patula L. / J. S. Negi*, V. K. Bisht, A. K. Bhandari & R. C. Sundriyal / Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants, Volume 16, Issue 3, 2013, pp 364-367 v/ DOI:10.1080/0972060X.2013.794003
Comparative Evaluation of Mycostatic Effect of Tagetes spp / Ramya R, Bhat S K / INDIAN JOURNAL OF APPLIED RESEARCH, Vol 3, Issue 7, July 2013
Tagetes erecta / Synonyms / The Plant List
Tagetes erecta, A Potential Medicinal Plant for Discovering a New Antibacterial Agent / Hossein Motamedi, Seyyed Mansour Seyyednejad, Amensh Bakhtiari, Mozhan Vafaei /  Jentashapir J Health Res. 2015 ; 6(4): e29744 / DOI: 10.17795/jjhr-29744.
Constituents of French Marigold (Tagetes patula L.) Flowers Protect Jurkat T-Cells Against Oxidative Stress / Irakli Chkhikvishvili, Tamar Sanikidze, Nunu Gogia et al / Oxid Med Cell Longev., 2016 /  doi: 10.1155/2016/4216285 / PMID: 27433287
Acaricidal, ovicidal, and repellent e ects of Tagetes patula leaf extract against Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae) / Manal Sayed Mohamed Ismail, Hend Maroof Tag, Marguerite Adly Rizk / Journal of Plant Protection Research, 2019; 59(2): pp 151-159 / DOI: 10.24425/jppr.2019.129285
Hypertensive and Toxicological Study of Citric Acid and Other Constituents from Tagetes patula Roots / Rubeena Saleem, Mohammad Ahmad, Aneela Naz et al / Archives of Pharmacal Research, Oct 2004; Vol 27, Issue 10: pp 1037-1042
Extraction of flavonoids from Tagetes patula: process optimization and screening for biological activity / Vanessa M. Munhoz, Renata Longhini, José R.P. Souza, João A.C. Zequi, Eneri V.S. Leite Mello, Gisely C. Lopes, João C.P. Melloa / Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia, 2014; 24: pp 576=583 /
HPLC and MS Analyses of Lutein-Esters from Tagetes patula L. / M S Karawya, F M Hammouda, S L Ismail, A K Zaki, and N M Nazif / Qatar Univ Sci J., 1996; 16(2): pp 251-255
Mechanism Investigation of Tagetes patula L. against Chronic Nonbacterial Prostatitis by Metabolomics and Network Pharmacology  / Xueying Liu, Xiaoku Ran et al / Molecules, 2019; 24(12) / https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24122266
Effect of Packaging on Shelf-life and Lutein Content of Marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) Flowers / Sayani Pal. Probir Kumar Ghosh, Paramita Bhattacharjee / Recent Patents on Biotechnology, 2016; 10(1): pp 103-120

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

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