Tagetes minuta (stinking Roger)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Biology and Ecology
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Environmental Impact
- Uses List
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Tagetes minuta L. (1753)
Preferred Common Name
- stinking Roger
Other Scientific Names
- Tagetes bonariensis Pers. (1786)
- Tagetes glandulifera Schrank
- Tagetes glandulosa Link (1822)
- Tagetes montana (Hort.) DC. (1836)
- Tagetes porophyllum Vell. (1827)
International Common Names
- English: Mexican marigold; stinkweed; tall khaki weed; wild marigold
- Spanish: huacatay
- Portuguese: cravo de defuncto
Local Common Names
- Angola: ekaibulo
- Argentina: chil chil
- Brazil: chinchilla; coora; cravo de mato; margarita; rabo de foguete; rabo de rajao; suique; voadeira
- Chile: quinchihue
- Germany: Wilde Sammetblume
- Kenya: ang'we; anyach; bhangi; mubangi; muvangi; nyanjaga; nyanjagra; omotioku; omubazi gwemhazi
- Madagascar: mavoadala
- Malawi: khaki
- Paraguay: agosto; suico
- South Africa: africander bossie; jeremane; kakiebos; khaki bush; khaki weed; kleinafrikander; lang kakiebos; Master John Henry; mbanje; stinkbos; transvaalsekakiebos
- Zambia: mutanda zyeelo
- Zimbabwe: mbanda
- TAGMI (Tagetes minuta)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Asterales
- Family: Asteraceae
- Genus: Tagetes
- Species: Tagetes minuta
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
No chromosome number has been recorded for T. minuta.
DescriptionTop of page
T. minuta is an erect, woody annual herb, usually 0.5–2 m tall with strongly odorous foliage. The taproots are usually short and tapering, and surrounded by fibrous lateral roots, which form mycorrhizal associations. The stems are typically erect, woody, and grooved or ridged, initially green but often maturing to brownish or reddish. They are usually branched only in the upper part, unless broken or cut off near the base. Leaves occur in opposite pairs on the main stem and usually singly on the laterals. Leaves are 5–20 cm long, slightly glossy-green and are pinnately compound with 4–6 pairs of pinnae, opposite below and alternate or opposite above. Leaflets are narrowly lanceolate, sharply toothed and 2–4 cm long. The undersurface of the leaves bears a number of small, punctate, orange, multicellular glands, which exude a licorice-like aroma when ruptured. Glands occur beside the midribs and towards the margins of each leaflet, and may also be found in the stem and involucre bracts. The scented, panicle-like inflorescences consist of 20–80 narrowly cylindrical flower heads. The heads are small, 10–15 mm long and 3–4 mm in diameter, surrounded by 4–5 fused involucre bracts, and dotted with glands not splitting apart at maturity. Ray and disk flowers barely extend beyond the phyllaries; ray flowers are 3–5 yellow-orange florets, disk flowers are 10–15 yellow-orange (Soule, 1996). The dark-brown achenes are 10–20 mm long, with a pappus of 1–4 tiny scales and 0–2 retrosely serrulate awns, which are 1–3 mm long. The slender black fruits are 5–8 mm long, finely hairy, and tipped with a chaffy pappus of 4–8 scales of different lengths.
The seedlings have epigeal germination. The slender, often reddish, hypocotyls are 1.0–1.5 cm long, and end in elongate cotyledons about 1 cm long which are often reddish below. The first pair of leaves are deeply divided into three segments with a large terminal lobe and have irregularly toothed edges.
DistributionTop of page
T. minuta originated in South America, and has been deliberately distributed across the tropics, subtropics and several temperate countries as an ornamental, medicinal or perfume plant as well as accidentally as a weed. In Kenya, T. minuta was first recorded as an alien weed during the 1920s. It was originally restricted to the higher altitudes, but has since spread to lower altitudes as a result of increasing agricultural activities (Stadler et al., 1998). T. minuta was introduced to California, USA, in the 1930s to control root-knot nematodes in orchards, but has since become an invasive weed.
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 21 Jul 2022
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Congo, Republic of the||Present||Introduced|
|-Himachal Pradesh||Present||Introduced||Original citation: Bikram Singh et al., 1992|
|Denmark||Present||Introduced||First reported: Post 1961|
|Federal Republic of Yugoslavia||Present, Localized||Introduced|
|-Canary Islands||Present||Introduced||First reported: 1940's|
|-Florida||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Original citation: Anon (1998)|
|-New South Wales||Present|
HabitatTop of page
Habitat ListTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Ananas comosus (pineapple)||Bromeliaceae||Main|
|Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)||Fabaceae||Other|
|Glycine max (soyabean)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Helianthus annuus (sunflower)||Asteraceae||Main|
|Oryza sativa (rice)||Poaceae||Other|
|Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Pisum sativum (pea)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)||Poaceae||Main|
|Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)||Solanaceae||Unknown|
|Solanum tuberosum (potato)||Solanaceae||Main|
|Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)||Poaceae||Main|
|Tanacetum cinerariifolium (Pyrethrum)||Other|
|Triticum aestivum (wheat)||Poaceae||Main|
|Vitis vinifera (grapevine)||Vitaceae||Main|
|Zea mays (maize)||Poaceae||Main|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
No chromosome number has been recorded for T. minuta. Flowers are hermaphrodite and pollinated by insects. Galicia, (1995) has distinguished four phenotypes of T. minuta on the basis of the morphological traits of capitula. Three chemotypes, which differ in biomass and essential oil yield of inflorescence and leaves, were identified by Gil et al. (2000).
Physiology and phenology
T. minuta is an annual herbaceous weed that flowers 120–150 days after emergence (Aranha et al., 1982). Under controlled conditions flowering is initiated by 13 hours daylength (Luciani-Gresta, 1975). When grown outdoors the plant flowered in July and in Zimbabwe, average seed production per plant was 29,100 (Schwerzel, 1967). However, in less sunny areas or far northern regions, plants may not flower. The seeds lie loosely within the upright tubular inflorescences until shaken out, and are distributed attached to clothing and animals and with soil, water and plant debris.
T. minuta has a relative small seed, with no dormancy stage, and 7–8 month longevity. It has an aerial seed bank, which compensates for the lack of a persistent soil seed bank. The seeds have hooks, which aid in animal dispersal, as well as secondary products that prevent herbivory (Martinez-Ghersa et al., 2000).
The plant is propagated by seeds, which germinate over a period of 48 h; most seeds germinate between 20 and 30°C (optimal 25°C). Germination of fresh seed may be as high as 95%. At 36°C, the achenes become thermoinhibited and do not germinate; however, once the temperature is reduced below 35°C, germination occurs but is spread over a reduced period of 24 h. The thermoinhibited proteins may result in the prevention of radical emergence at unfavourable temperatures. Seeds do not require light for germination; however, they respond to it very positively, so that germination only occurs from seeds near the soil surface and most seedlings emerge from soil depths of less than 6 mm (Holm et al., 1997). Detailed studies on some aspects of its germination have been conducted by Forsyth and van Staden (1983), Drewes and van Staden (1991) and (Hills et al., 2001).
Mohamed et al. (1998) has developed an efficient in vitro propagation protocol for T. minuta.
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
ImpactTop of page
T. minuta is a significant crop seed contaminant in East Africa (especially of wheat and some pasture grass seeds) (Holm et al., 1997), and contaminates wool in South Africa (Wells et al., 1986). It is an alternative host to the bean fungus Ascochyta phaseolorum in Australia (Holm et al., 1997).
T. minuta may also leave allelopathic residues in soil (Meissner et al., 1986). The roots exude a polyacetylene derivative which delays germination and reduces the yield of crops grown in soil previously infested with the species.
Although T. minuta is considered as a weed in many countries, it is cultivated for essential oil production as a pure crop as well as an intercrop in maize, tomato and geranium (Singh and Singh, 2001). Also, as the root secretions of T. minuta have an insecticidal, nematicidal, bacterial and fungicidal effect, the plants have been used in intercroping schemes. Soule (1996) found that the production of T. minuta as a pure crop or as an intercrop in maize was more profitable than other crops considered. Singh and Singh (2001) suggested that T. minuta had a bright prospect in Himachal Pradesh, India, and Soule (1996) reported that T. minuta has potential to become a new crop for many drug-growing areas.
Environmental ImpactTop of page
UsesTop of page
In South America, mint marigold is used as a spice that gives an apple-like flavour. Both fresh and dried leaves are used as aromatic seasoning for soups and vegetables. It is grown as a vegetable in parts of Peru, dried leaves are used as condiments and flavouring in different food products. Essential oil extracted from the plant (leaves and floral heads), known as tagetes oil and marigold oil, is a flavour component in most major food products, including cola beverages, alcoholic beverages, frozen dairy desserts, candy, baked goods, gelatins, puddings, condiments and relishes. Fresh leaves can be chopped and used to season chicken and green salads or to brew a sweet, anise-flavoured tea. The dried leaves retain their fragrance well if sealed in a glass container and protected from extreme heat and bright light. Mint marigold is also used to flavour liqueurs. When cooking, the sweetish anise-like flavour of leaves and stems can be substituted for tarragon (Ravindran, 2017).
The strong-smelling essential oils of T. minuta have enabled it to be used for many purposes, including as a relish, laxative, diuretic, flavouring, insect repellent, stimulant and snuff (Holm et al., 1997). T. minuta var. vanphool, which has been derived from the open population in northern India, has a high yield and quality of essential oil (Sushil Kumar et al., 1999). It is also used for the treatment of coughs, stomach cramps and rheumatism. In South Africa it is grown for the perfumery industry (Gil et al., 1996).
T. minuta has strong insecticidal and nematicidal properties, both as a fresh plant and when distilled (Weaver et al., 1994; Gil et al., 1996). Holm et al. (1997) provide a brief review of the evidence for use against nematodes. A wide range of nematode species can be affected and some dramatic reductions of nematode infestation have been recorded after growing T. minuta for short periods. Effects from T. minuta have been greater than those from T. patula and T. erecta. However, success has been variable and results depend on a range of environmental and other factors. Root secretions also have a herbicidal effect, inhibiting the growth of certain plants growing nearby. It has been found to be effective against perennial weeds such as Ranunculus ficaria (celandine), Aegopodium podagraria (ground elder), Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy), Agropyron repens (couch grass) and Convolvulus arvensis (field bindweed) (Ravindran, 2017).
Fresh plants can be hung indoors to drive away cockroaches (Beccaloni, 1991).
Uses ListTop of page
- Host of pest
Human food and beverage
- Beverage base
- Spices and culinary herbs
- Essential oils
- Poisonous to mammals
- Christmas tree
- Cut flower
- garden plant
- Potted plant
- Propagation material
- Seed trade
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.Cultural Control
T. minuta is easily uprooted or removed by hand or mechanical cultivation, but this should be done before the flowers form to prevent the return of viable seeds to the soil. In East Africa, T. minuta is abundant following fires or other clearing operations.
Tillage and hand pulling is very effective in controlling T. minuta in agricultural fields and in cultivation processes. However, agricultural machines should be cleaned to prevent seed dispersal among fields.
In screening trials in Brazil, Lorenzi (1986) showed T. minuta to be susceptible to acifluorfen, ametryne, bentazon, bifenox, bromacil, cyanazine, dicamba, diphenamid, diquat, diuron, 2,4-D, glyphosate, imazaquin, linuron, metribuzin, molinate, oxadiazon, oxyfluorfen, paraquat and simazine.
Current Australian registrations for the control of T. minuta include 2,4-D, MCPA, norflurazon, prometryn, pendimethalin, atrazine, 2,4-D + picloram, linuron, and bromacil + diuron (Hamilton, 1997). The effect of these herbicides can be reduced if the herbicide leaches below the germination zone, e.g. in sandy soil.
No biological control has been attempted against T. minuta.
ReferencesTop of page
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Toida Y, 1972. A study on the control of nematodes on mulberry with Mexican marigold, Tagetes minuta. In: 16th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology, Shizuoka, Japan, 6-8 April 1972. [16th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology, Shizuoka, Japan, 6-8 April 1972.], 122.
Vallejo A de, 1980. (Malezas de Chile)., Santiago, Chile: Estacion Experimental La Platina.
Weaver D K, Wells C D, Dunkel F V, Bertsch W, Sing S E, Sriharan S, 1994. Insecticidal activity of floral, foliar, and root extracts of Tagetes minuta (Asterales: Asteraceae) against adult Mexican bean weevils (Coleoptera: Bruchidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 87 (6), 1718-1725. DOI:10.1093/jee/87.6.1718
Wells M J, Balsinhas A A, Joffe H, Engelbrecht V M, Harding G, Stirton C H, 1986. A catalogue of problem plants in southern Africa incorporating the national weed list of South Africa. Memoirs, Botanical Survey of South Africa. v + 658pp.
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