Sweet Mace

Name

Botanical Name

Family

Native to

Water

Sun

Soil

Height

Width

Space

Sweet Mace; Mexican Marigold; Texas Tarragon

Tagetes lucida

Asteraceae

Native to southern Mexico and Guatemala

Daily in hot weather (drought tolerant once established)

Full sun; Part shade (afternoon shade in hot weather)

Average to good; Well-drained

16-24"

16-24"

8-12"

Price

4" Pots:  $2.20

6" Pots:  $3.50

Clay pots and planters:  Prices Vary

Description

An upright plant with many unbranching stems.  The leaves are bright green, narrow and elongated.  Bright yellow flowers form in spring and again in fall.  The leaves have a delicious, sweet smell and taste similar to tarragon.  The flowers are also edible.  

Keeping it Going

  • Pinch back to promote compact growth 

  • Use average to good soil that is well-drained

  • Keep soil moist in hot conditions (best practice), but never soggy

  • Sweet Mace is considered a drought tolerant plant once established, but prefers moist soil

  • Tolerates heat and humidity

  • Do not over fertilize.  Fertilizer promotes lush, weakly flavored leaves and less flowers.

  • Will root from stems that touch the ground

Won't Tolerate

  • Freezing temperatures

  • Prolonged damp soil conditions (let the soil almost dry out before watering - unless weather is very hot)

  • Cramped conditions - Sweet Mace needs air circulation

History

&

Points of Interest

  • "Lucida" means shining

  • Use as a substitute for tarragon.  Both the leaves and flowers are edible and have a sweet licorice flavor

  • Harvest in the morning when flavor is at its peak

  • Thrives in warm climates 

  • Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and beneficial insects

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