Tagetes minuta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tagetes minuta
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tagetes
T. minuta
Binomial name
Tagetes minuta
  • Tagetes bonariensis Pers.
  • Tagetes glandulifera Schrank
  • Tagetes glandulosa Schrank ex Link
  • Tagetes porophyllum Vell.
  • Tagetes tinctoria Hornsch.

Tagetes minuta is a tall upright marigold plant from the genus Tagetes, with small flowers, native to the southern half of South America.[2] Since Spanish colonization, it has been introduced around the world, and has become naturalized in Europe, Asia, Australasia, North America, and Africa.[2] Tagetes minuta has numerous local names that vary by region. In the Andes it is known as Huacatay or Wacatay, and in other regions it is common as chinchilla, chiquilla, chilca, zuico, suico, or anisillo.[3] Other names include muster John Henry,[4] southern marigold,[5] khakibos, stinking roger,[6] wild marigold,[2] and black mint. It is called by the Quechua terms huacatay in Peru[7] or wakataya in Bolivia.[8]

It is used as a culinary herb in Peru, Ecuador, and parts of Chile and Bolivia. It is commonly sold in Latin grocery stores in a bottled, paste format as black mint paste.


This species of marigold may grow to become from 0.6–2 meters tall.[3]


Tagetes minuta has been eaten in various forms since pre-Columbian times.[3] Dried leaves may be used as a seasoning and huacatay paste is used to make the popular Peruvian potato dish called ocopa. An herbal tea can be brewed from the leaves. An extraction of the plant, "Marigold oil", is used in the perfume, tobacco, and soft drink industry.[3]

In addition to food, the plant can be used to produce dye,[9] and as a green manure crop for biomass and a bio-fumigant for control of selected species of nematodes.


The oils contained in the oil glands that are found throughout the above ground portions of the plant may cause irritation to the skin and in some cases are said to cause photodermatitis.[3]



  1. ^ "The Plant List".
  2. ^ a b c "Tagetes minuta". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e Soule, J.A. 1993. Tagetes minuta: A potential new herb from South America. p. 649-654. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), New crops. Wiley, New York.
  4. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Tagetes". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  5. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  6. ^ California Dept. of Food and Agriculture data sheet: Tagetes minuta
  7. ^ Diccionario Quechua - Español - Quechua, Academía Mayor de la Lengua Quechua, Gobierno Regional Cusco, Cusco 2005 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary)
  8. ^ Teofilo Laime Ajacopa, Diccionario Bilingüe Iskay simipi yuyayk'ancha, La Paz, 2007 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary)
  9. ^ Too, Titus (February 1, 2012). "Varsity breaks ground with dye made from weed". The Standard. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2012.

External links[edit]