Genus Information: In North America there are 8 species and 8 accepted taxa overall for Tagetes. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 53 accepted species names and a further 16 scientific names of infraspecific rank for Tagetes.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona and Utah each have 2 species of Tagetes, California has 3 species, Nevada has 0 species, New Mexico and Texas each have 1 species. Data approximate, subject to revision.
Comments: The genus Tagetes includes the popular cultivated Marigolds, both the African and French varieties known for their handsome yellow-orange flowers and familiar "Marigold" scent. Lemmon’s Marigold, although limited in its native distribution to southeastern Arizona and northern Mexico, is readily available in the nursery trade and makes an ideal landscape specimen for desert gardens. Cultivated plants may grow up to 3 feet (.9 m) tall and 4 or 5 feet (1.2-1.5 m) wide blooming in both spring and fall.
Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Lemmon's Marigold, Tagetes lemmonii has attractive daisy-like flowers, the flowers, their seeds and plants may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of food, nectar and protection through cover.
Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Honey Bees and Insects
Lemmon's Marigold, Tagetes lemmonii has attractive daisy-like flowers, the flowers and their plants may be visited or used by butterflies, moths, flies, honeybees, (remove this if Native Bees paragraph used below) native bees and other insects in search of nectar, food or shelter and protection.
The genus “Tagetes” (Tage'tes:) named after the Etruscan god Tages who supposedly emerged from the earth as it was being ploughed and was imbued with the power of divination.
The species epithet “lemmonii” (lem'monii:) named after John Gill Lemmon, (1832-1908), who with his wife Sara Allen Plummer Lemmon (1836-1923), American Botanist, collected plants throughout the American West.
Thus this species is named for John Gill Lemmon, (1832-1908), and not for Mount Lemmon itself. However, Mount Lemmon in Arizona is named for John's wife Sara Allen Plummer as she was the first white woman to reach the top of it.