Baileya multiradiata Harv. & A. Gray ex A. Gray
Desert Marigold, Showy Desert Marigold, Paper Daisy, Desert Baileya
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Synonym(s): Baileya multiradiata var. thurberi
USDA Symbol: bamu
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual
Size Notes: Usually up to about 18 inches tall. Can be up to 3 feet tall in the right conditions.
Flower: Flowers 1 to 2 inches
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , NM , NV , 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 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.
BenefitUse 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
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: 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 Treatment: No treatment if planted in fall. Spring sown seeds need a moist chilling period.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
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From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 354 - Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
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From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1989 VOL. 6, NO.2 - Wildflower Network Operates in Louisiana, Wildflower Handbook Published, Researc...
Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.2 - Preservation Blooms in Recreated Prairies, New Wildflower Center Prairie Welcome...
Wildflower Newsletter 1995 VOL. 12, NO.3 - Explore the Big Bend With the Wildflower Center, Education Director\'s Report, T...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Baileya multiradiata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Baileya multiradiata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Baileya multiradiata
MetadataRecord Modified: 2021-02-25
Research By: TWC Staff