Originally from South America, Tagete has been used as a source of essential oil for the perfume and industry known as tagette or “marigold oil”, and as a flavorant in the food and tobacco industries.
Tagetes minuta is a tall upright marigold plant from the genus Tagetes, with small flowers, native to the southern half of South America. Since Spanish colonization, it has been introduced around the world, and has become naturalized in Europe, Asia, Australasia, North America, and Africa. Tagetes minuta has numerous local names that vary by region. In the Andes it is known as Huacatay or Wacatay, and in other regions it is common as chinchilla, chiquilla, chilca, zuico, suico, or anisillo. Other names include muster John Henry, southern marigold, khakibos, stinking roger, wild marigold, and black mint.
It is commonly cultivated in South Africa, where the species is also a useful pioneer plant in the reclamation of disturbed land.