Synonyms of Tagetes erecta (8) (Updated on 11-3-21 from Plants of the World Online): Tagetes corymbosa Sweet, Tagetes elongata Willd., Tagetes erecta f. pleniflora Moldenke, Tagetes heterocarpha Rydb., Tagetes major Gaertn., Tagetes patula L., Tagetes remotiflora Kunze, Tagetes tenuifolia Kunth
Tagetes erecta L. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Marigold. The genus and species were named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 49 species in the Tagetes genus (as of 11-3-21 when this page was last updated). It is a member of the plant family Asteraceae with 1,678 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO. The number of genera in the family fluctuates quite often.
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I grew my first Marigold ‘Crackerjack’ when I was living in Minnesota with my brother in 2007. They were AWESOME and I wish I had the photos to show you. I bought seeds again in 2009 and in 2011 while living in the mansion in Leland, Mississippi. The plants in Mississippi were not near as impressive as the ones I grew in Minnesota.
Although they are called African Marigolds, they are native to Mexico. I am sure the “cultivars” we plant in our flower beds are a bit different than the wild plants.
Marigold ‘Crackerjack’ does best if grown in full sun but do OK in part shade as well. Plants can grow around 36” tall and sometimes need staking, like mine in Mississippi did. Then again, it seemed like almost everything there needed stakes. They produce HUGE flowers, around 4” wide, or orange, yellow and gold.
The plants I grew in Mississippi left a lot to be desired, maybe because there was too much shade. The plants I grew in Minnesota flowered in all three colors, but it seems the only color I had in Mississippi were yellow. Maybe someday I will buy more seeds and give them a try here in mid-Missouri… In full sun!
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FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
PFAF (PLANTS FOR A FUTURE)