Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
Plant Common Name
Nelson's marigold is an aromatic, small to medium-sized, evergreen or deciduous shrub from uplands of southern Mexico and Guatemala.
This densely branched shrub bears pinnately compound, spicy-scented leaves with five broad, oval, dark green leaflets. Large dense clusters of small, golden-yellow, daisy-like blooms appear in late summer at the stem tips and leaf axils. Flowering continues until late fall or heavy frost. This shrub behaves as a herbaceous perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 and 8, dying back in winter but resprouting and blooming the following growing season.
Nelson's marigold thrives in full sun and humus-rich, acidic to neutral, well-drained soil. Use it in mixed plantings, perennial borders and "fragrance gardens" in areas where it's root-hardy. It can also be planted as an annual in colder zones.