The OG Hometown flower


Desert marigold
baileya multiradiata

  • perennial wildflower 1' x 1'

  • golden flowers spring through fall 

  • MODERATE TO LOW WATER (terrace to top zone)



  • important nectar plant for native bees, butterflies, and larval food plant for moths

There are certain things that are as Tucson as summer rain and saguaros. Of all the flowering perennials out there, desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata) must be the OG tucson flower. 

Just like many t-town plants, this species looks both tough, and pretty and won't take up too much space. Staying about a foot tall and wide, desert marigold blooms spring through fall and will reseed throughout the landscape. Volunteers of desert marigold area always wanted and find themselves coming up right where you would have planted one anyway. 

Like many true desert plants, too much water will rot this plant. It finds itself happy mixed with other tough wildflowers and perennials like desert poppy and penstemons. They prefer full sun, low to moderate water, and well-drained soil is a must. 

Native to desert flats in the SW United states and southward into Mexico, desert marigold is an important species to nectar-feeding insects, especially native bees and butterflies, and is a larval host to a few species of moths. 

Katherine Gierlach