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Friday, November 02, 2007

Mexican Marigold

By the time November rolls around, marigolds are nowhere to be found in nurseries, having given way weeks ago to the cool season annual color. But I can always count on tagetes lemmonii to bloom for Day of the Dead and guide whatever souls might be hanging around. Mexican marigold, or copper canyon marigold, is a satisfying perennial that will bloom profusely for you twice a year if you go ahead and cut it way back after bloom. It doesn't need much water or fuss, just tolerance for its powerfully fragranced foliage.

As soon as the buds begin to swell the picture window flies (Trupanea sp) arrive to oviposit.

I noticed this eristalinus taeniops, a hover fly whose larvae grow in stagnant water (feeding on what, I wonder; and where is there stagnant water around here in the middle of a drought?) just a few days after the flowers opened. They are said to be attracted to flat white or yellow flowers: I concur. This is my first sighting of this species, so I must conclude that flat yellow flowers attract these guys like an arboretum sale attracts gardeners.


Carolyn Hietala said...

Just found your beautiful blog ;0)
Yet another touching tribute to the world of insects!

Peter Hoh said...

I keep meaning to grow these in my hottest, driest garden area, but I never get around to it. One of these years.