Tagetes minuta L.
Linnaeus, C. von (1753) Species Plantarum 2: 887. Type: Habitat in Chili.
Usually flowers and fruits as a weedy shrub about 2 m tall.
What appear to be flowers are actually heads of flowers enclosed in a tubular involucre about 10 x 1.5-2 mm, arranged in cymes or panicles. Each involucre has a number of semi-transparent or translucent windows on the outer surface. These windows are about 1 mm long usually with a yellow gland at the base. Calyx lobes of individual flowers reduced to pappus. Staminal filaments free to the base but anthers fused to form a tube.
Features not available.
An introduced species originally from South America, now naturalised in NEQ, CEQ and southwards to south-eastern New South Wales. Also found in South Australia and Western Australia. Altitudinal range in NEQ from near sea level to 950 m. Grows as a weed along roadsides and in waste places but also found along roads in rain forest.
Widely used in South America to make beverages, condiments & various folk medicines. Soule, J.A. (1993). (www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1993/v2-64 9.html (15-8-2000)
In northern Australia regarded as a useless weed which can cause blistering in people required to work in patches of it in hot and humid weather.
This aromatic weed is developing a considerable importance as an insect repellent and as a control for parasites. It is also suspected as a stock poison. Cribb (1981).