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BAILEYA multiradiata

Image of Baileya multiradiata

Audrey, Eve and George DeLange

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

BAILEYA multiradiata

Plant Common Name

Desert Marigold

General Description

Desert marigold is a tender, perennial wildflower that offers a brilliant show for a short time in spring. It is native to the low deserts of southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. There it’s found in infertile, sandy or gravelly soils. It is visible in large populations for weeks in spring when new plants sprout from seeds. Only in the warmest regions do plants become perennial as they do not stand the slightest frost. Even there most fail to survive extreme summer heat and drought. However, in cultivated gardens, the lifespan may become truly perennial if irrigated infrequently during the dry months.

This small, tufted plant produces fuzzy, silver leaves on short, thick stems. Blooms are unusually large bright-yellow daisies that rival those of hybrid coreopsis in size. They are held atop long bare stems, which persist to hold the petalless “button” of developing seeds after flowers fade. These are attractive textural elements in the desert garden that may self sow if conditions are right. Otherwise deadhead after blooming. Though plants may be available for sale, desert marigold is typically grown from seeds which sprout readily in granular soils.

Characteristics

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Southwestern United States, Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Silver

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Silver

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Silver

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes