Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Tagetes minuta L.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Inflorescence and flower heads. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Linnaeus, C. von (1753) Species Plantarum 2: 887. Type: Habitat in Chili.

Common name

Stinking Roger


Usually flowers and fruits as a weedy shrub about 2 m tall.


Leaves emit a strong odour when crushed. Orange or orange-yellow glands visible at least near the margins on the underside of the leaf blade. Leaflets reduced to hair-like structures or small leaflets with fimbriate margins towards the base of the compound leaf rhachis.


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.


Fruiting heads resemble capsules, each head about 10 x 1.5-2 mm. Individual fruits about 7 x 0.5 mm. Pappus about 2-2.5 mm long. Pappus hairs minutely barbed.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

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.

Natural History & Notes

Widely used in South America to make beverages, condiments & various folk medicines. Soule, J.A. (1993). ( 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).

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