Desert Marigold

(Baileya multiradiata)

Desert Marigold blooms in the Wildflower Field at Sunnylands Center and Gardens

Desert Marigold is a prolific bloomer in the wildflower field. At least one of the plants appears to be blooming at all times. The largest blooming occurs in spring and summer. Desert Marigold’s common name is slightly misleading as it is not related to what is now categorized as true marigolds, those in the genus Tegetes.

Desert Marigold forms small clumps of bright green leaves and sends stalks up above the clump that produce bright yellow daisy-like blooms. When planted in mass, it provides a gorgeous groundcover. There is more than one species of Baileya, but the species in the wildflower field is multiradiata, which means its blooms are arranged symmetrically. This arrangement creates the appearance of the blooms being perfectly round.

This is a North American native that is found in northern Mexico in the states of Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, and Aguascalientes. In the United States it is native to California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas.

The Wildflower Field

The wildflower field at Sunnylands is overseeded annually with native wildflowers and bunch grasses. This provides visitors with a view of the larger cyclical bloom cycles that we have in the desert. Starting in February, a variety of native species and bunch grasses begin emerging. Each year the vegetation varies slightly, depending on which seed dominates the space. The field can range in color from purples to oranges, whites, and pinks, with a variety of combinations. We cannot guarantee that all wildflowers will be present each year.


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