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Tagetes erecta, the Mexican marigold, also called Aztec marigold, is a species of the genus Tagetes native to Mexico and Central America. Despite its being native to the Americas, it is often called African marigold. In Mexico, this plant is found in the wild in the states of San Luis Potosí, Chiapas, State of México, Puebla, Sinaloa, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz. This plant reaches heights of between 50–100 cm (20–39 in). The Aztecs gathered the wild plant as well as cultivating it for medicinal, ceremonial and decorative purposes. It is widely cultivated commercially with many cultivars in use as ornamental plants. Since prehispanic times, this plant has been used for medicinal purposes. The Cherokee used it as a skin wash and for yellow dye. Scientific study shows that thiophenes, natural phytochemicals that include sulfur-containing rings, may be the active ingredients. They have been shown to kill gram negative and gram positive bacteria in vitro. This marigold may help protect certain crop plants from nematode pests when planted in fields. It is most effective against the nematode species Pratylenchus penetrans. The flower petals have been used in lettuce salads and other foods to add colour and flavour. The dried flower petals, ground to a powder, may be used in poultry feed to ensure a good colouration of egg yolks and broiler skin, especially in the absence of well-pigmented yellow maize in the feed. This is still a use today, but now usually in the form of an extract which may have advantages of lower transport and storage cost, better stability and better utilization. It is also used to enhance coloring in crustaceans, such as the Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei). The oil of the flower may be added to perfumes to infuse an apple scent into them. Please click here to ask a question
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  • Seller location: Huntly, Waikato, NZ

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