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Tithonia diversifolia
Specimen in Saint-Paul, Réunion
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tithonia
Species: T. diversifolia
Binomial name
Tithonia diversifolia
(Hemsl.) A. Gray

The tree marigold, Mexican tournesol, Mexican sunflower or Nitobe chrysanthemum (Tithonia diversifolia) is a species of plant in the Asteraceae family now distributed in tropical and subtropical areas such as Central America, Southeast Asia and Africa. Depending on the area they may be either annual or perennial, two to three metres in height with upright and sometimes ligneous stalks in the form of woody shrubs. The flowers are orange. It is widely accepted that they were at one stage native to Central America or Mexico, hence the name.

Symbolism and uses

  • In Japan, towards the end of the Meiji Period, they were imported as ornamental plants although seldom cultivated there. Having a characteristic bitter taste, they were used to induce a fever to help fight poisoning, although not used for direct medicinal purposes. There is also the story of the species being introduced to Japan by Nitobe Inazo, hence its Japanese name, the Nitobe chrysanthemum (ニトベギク; Nitobegiku).


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Tithonia diversifolia


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids II
Ordo: Asterales
Familia: Asteraceae
Subfamilia: Asteroideae
Tribus: Heliantheae
Subtribus: Unassigned
Genus: Tithonia
Species: Tithonia diversifolia


Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray


  • Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Boston, MA 19:5. 1883
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. [1]


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