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Lynne recognized our mystery seeds from last week as desert marigolds, Baileya multiradiata.

desert-marigold

As you can see, despite their common name desert marigolds do not look much like marigolds and in fact are not closely related to true marigolds.

desert-marigold-plant

They are short-lived perennial wildflowers with gray-green foliage. They form clumps or mounds and reseed readily in the western U.S. and Mexico where they are native.

desert-marigold-plant-2

They can go somewhat dormant without water, but with water desert marigolds will bloom for long periods.

desert-marigod-flower-fly

Desert marigolds are a good source of nectar for pollinators like this flower fly.

checkered-white-in-desert-marigold

They would be good additions to any butterfly or moth garden.

Do desert marigolds grow where you live?