Desert Marigold (Baileya)

Desert Marigold (Baileya)

Baileya (the desert marigolds) is a genus of three species in the aster family Asteraceae. All are native to the southwestern United States and to Mexico.

They are typically annual, though B. multiradiata may be perennial. The leaves, which may range from being entire to deeply lobed, mostly occur in a basal cluster. From this arises several flower stems, up to 18 inches (50 cm) in height, usually carrying a single yellow radiate flower each, although B. pauciradiata may have 2-3 flowers on a stem.

Desert marigolds typically have their main bloom in the spring, extending through July. Summer thunderstorms may enable a second bloom in October and even into November.

Baileya species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Schinia miniana (which feeds exclusively on the genus) and Schinia pallicincta (which feeds exclusively on B. pauciradiata).

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About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.

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