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Flaigg, Norman G.
Baileya multiradiata Harv. & A. Gray ex A. Gray
Desert marigold, Showy desert marigold, Paper daisy, Desert baileya
Synonym(s): Baileya multiradiata var. thurberi
USDA Symbol: BAMU
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual Habit: Herb Flower:
Flowers 1 to 2 inches
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
, 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 ConditionsWater 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.
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:
Plant untreated seeds 1/4 deep in fall or,
where winters are more severe, in spring. Germination is erratic, so sow a lot of seeds. Seed Collection:
Not Available Seed Treatment:
No treatment if planted in fall. Spring sown seeds need a moist chilling period. Commercially Avail:
Find Seed or Plants
Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native, non-invasive plant seeds for each region in U.S.
June 09, 2006
I need to identify a wildflower from each region that we can package in custom packaging to use as giveaways at our member zoos and aquariums. Our project this year is called Conservation Made Simple...
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Record Last Modified: 2010-09-22
Research By: TWC Staff