Kenya Natural History Guide >>> Plants >>> Composites/Asteraceae >>> Stinking Roger

Stinking Roger

Tagetes minuta

Tagetes minuta, Stinking Roger, inflorescence of herbaceous perennial asteraceae, Eldoret, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

The heads are narrow and few-flowered with a single series of phyllaries. Eldoret, Kenya. January 2012.

leaf of Composite #5, Eldoret, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens This composite was found growing in pastures where cattle are grazed and thus is apparently not palatable forage. The plant is strongly scented of resinous oils which are contained in the darker glands visible on the foliage. Height is about 1 to 1½ m tall with several branching stems. Primarily herbaceous with stiff reddish-brown stems.

LEAVES: The pinately compound leaves have lance-shaped segments which are shallowly toothed. The dried leaves have been used as flavoring and provide an alternate name: Black Mint.

HERB: Mostly herbaceous growth. Stems reach one to two meters tall.

RAY FLOWERS: The ray flowers are small, few and bright white with distinct teeth.

DISC FLOWERS: There are several yellow disc flowers.

PHYLLARIES: The single series of enclosing bracts tightly enclose the florets and developing seeds. They have dark glands containing pungent terpenes.

RANGE: Native to South America but widely introduced and naturalized in East Africa.

FRUIT: elongate, slender seeds are very dark and have a couple of papery scales attached to top.


Asteraceae -- Sunflower Family

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Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created on 24 July 2012,
updated 04 October 2012