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12 Interesting Facts About Copper Canyon Daisy

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The Copper Canyon Daisy (Tagetes lemmonii) is a rugged and beautiful flowering plant that is native to the deserts of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. With its vibrant golden blooms, aromatic foliage, and exceptional hardiness, this plant has become a beloved garden staple prized for its ornamental qualities as well as its versatility.

In the wild, Copper Canyon Daisy thrives in arid environments and canyonlands, clinging to rocky slopes and gracing the edges of dry washes. Its bright flowers and delightfully scented leaves have also earned it a place in xeric gardens and container plantings where it adds striking color and texture against neutral backdrops. Beyond aesthetics, this daisy has a long history of use as a culinary and medicinal plant among Native American tribes.

The name “Copper Canyon Daisy” comes from the iconic Copper Canyon region of Mexico where the plant grows in abundance. But no matter its locale, a mature specimen in full bloom is a stunning sight to behold. Here are 12 fascinating facts about this beautiful and hardy desert flower.


1. Vibrant Yellow Flowers

The Copper Canyon Daisy produces vibrant yellow daisy-like flowers that bloom prolifically in the fall and can sometimes last through early winter. The bright golden blooms stand out beautifully against the lacy green foliage.

2. Fragrant Foliage

The leaves of the Copper Canyon Daisy emit a strong, pungent fragrance reminiscent of lemon and mint. Some people love the unique scent while others find it overpowering.

3. Drought Resistant

As a plant adapted to arid desert environments, the Copper Canyon Daisy is extremely drought tolerant and requires little supplemental water once established.

4. Deer Resistant

The aromatic qualities of the Copper Canyon Daisy make it unpalatable to deer and other wildlife. This makes it a great choice for gardens prone to browsing damage.

5. Attracts Pollinators

The bright golden blooms of the Copper Canyon Daisy attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinating insects to the garden.

6. Culinary Uses

The leaves and flowers of the Copper Canyon Daisy can be used to flavor food, imparting a tarragon-like flavor. The blooms make colorful, tangy garnishes.

7. Medicinal Properties

Copper Canyon Daisy has a history of use in traditional herbal medicine to treat stomach ailments, headaches, colds and more.

8. Easy to Propagate

Copper Canyon Daisy can be easily grown from both seeds and cuttings, making it simple to multiply your plant collection.

9. Excellent Container Plant

The compact size and attractive foliage of Copper Canyon Daisy make it well suited for container gardening on patios and in small spaces.

10. Layering Growth Habit

As a vining plant, Copper Canyon Daisy spreads by “layering” where stems that touch the ground take root, creating new offshoot plants.

11. Named After Botanists

The Copper Canyon Daisy’s scientific name, Tagetes lemmonii, honors the botanists John and Sarah Lemmon who first discovered the plant.

12. Symbol of Creativity and Resilience

In the language of flowers, Copper Canyon Daisy represents human creativity, warmth, and the ability to thrive even in harsh conditions.


In summary, the Copper Canyon Daisy is a rugged yet beautiful plant that offers vibrant floral displays, an alluring fragrance, and versatility in the landscape. It thrives in hot, dry conditions where few other plants can survive, displaying magnificent golden blooms through fall and early winter. Beyond ornamental qualities, this daisy has served as a flavorful culinary ingredient and an important medicinal plant for indigenous cultures across the desert Southwest.

Whether grown in the ground or in containers, Copper Canyon Daisy is an excellent choice for xeric and low-maintenance gardens looking to add a splash of color and texture. It’s a living emblem of human creativity and resilience, echoing the adaptable spirit of the people and ecosystems among its native desert home.

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