Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Baileya multiradiata

Desert Marigold, Showy Desert Marigold, Paper Daisy, Desert Baileya

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Baileya multiradiata (Desert marigold)
Flaigg, Norman G.
Showy desert marigold is a 12-18 in., mound-shaped biennial or short-lived perennial. Its daisy-like flowers form impressive mounds of nearly solid yellow. The long-lasting, bright-yellow flowers rise on nearly leafless stems above the mounds of woolly, gray foliage. A grayish, woolly plant, branched and leafy mostly in the lower half, with brilliant yellow flowers in heads, one borne at the end of each of many nearly leafless flower stalks. The flowers, which occur sporadically over a long bloom period, turn papery with age.

Dense patches often form solid strips of yellow along miles of desert roadsides. In gardens a single plant grows into a perfect hemisphere of yellow, blooming throughout the hot summer and into fall.

The name Marigold, given to several species of Asteraceae with sunny yellow or orange flowers, comes from “Mary’s Gold,” in honor of the Virgin.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Flower: Flowers 1 to 2 inches
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AZ , CA , NV , NM , TX , UT
Native Distribution: Southwestern North America, from s.e. CA, AZ, & s.w. UT, e. to w. TX and s. to Durango and Aguascalientes in north central Mexico
Native Habitat: Flat desert areas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy or gravelly soils. Caliche type, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Desert marigold is a well-behaved plant that thrives in poor, dry soils and extreme heat. It is subject to crown rot if the soil is too wet. A stand of desert marigold will self-sow in favorable conditions. The seedling rosettes require a period of cold dormancy to set buds.


Use Ornamental: An attractive flower that will compare favorably with any of its cultivated relatives, Blooms ornamental, Long-blooming, Grows in clumps, Attractive.
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Bees, Nectar-Butterflies, Nectar-insects
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Last Update: 2016-02-24