Tagetes lucida Cav. - Asteraceae - sweetscented marigold, Mexican mint marigold, Mexican tarragon, Texas tarragon, Glänzende Studentenblume, Glänzende Samtblume, Duft-Tagetes
Perennial herb, native to Mexico and Guatemala, naturalized and cultivated elsewhere; bushy with upright unbranched stems; leaves linear to oblong, shiny green, with a sweet tarragon-like smell with overtones of anise when bruised; terminal clusters of small flowers (up to 1.3cm diam.), ray florets 3-5, golden-yellow.
Fresh leaves and flowers own a pleasant anise-like scent, copying the fragrance of tarragon.
„Mexican marigold has been in use since Aztec times, both for religious and medical purposes. Today, it is a popular herb in the Southern states of the USA, since it can substitute the well-known tarragon very well, but can be grown more easily in a hot climate.“
The plant is used as spice, medicine, insecticide and as ornamental, and cultivated commercially in Costa Rica as a spice herb. The hydro-distilled oil (yield 0.07% v/w) consisted mainly of methyl chavicol (estragole, 95-97%). Minor constituents were myrcene (0.6-1.8%), (E)-β-ocimene, linalool, β-caryophyllene, (E)-β-farnesene, germacrene-D and (E,E)-α-farnesene.
[A source of almost pure methyl chavicol: volatile oil from the aerial parts of Tagetes lucida (Asteraceae) cultivated in Costa Rica., Cicció, J.F., Revista de biología tropical, 52(4), 2004, 853-857] http://www.scielo.sa.cr/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-77442004000400004
The leaf essential oil (hydrodistillation) of Tagetes lucida cultivated in Cuba contained estragole (96.8%) as major constituent. Minor constituents were myrcene (2.3%), (E)-β-ocimene (0.2%), linalool (0.1%), β-caryophyllene (0.1%), germacrene-D (0.3%) and (E,E)-α-farnesene (0.1%).
[Chemical composition and biological properties of the leaf essential oil of Tagetes lucida Cav. from Cuba., Regalado, E.L., Fernández, M.D., Pino, J.A., Mendiola, J., Echemendia, O.A., Journal of Essential Oil Research, 23(5), 2011, 63-67]
Tagetes lucida Cav., Addisonia, vol.16 t.531 (1931) [M.E.Eaton]