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Tithonia diversifolia
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tithonia

T. diversifolia

Binomial name
Tithonia diversifolia

(Hemsl.) A.Gray

  • Mirasolia diversifolia Hemsl.[1]

Tithonia diversifolia is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae that is commonly known as the tree marigold,[2] Mexican tournesol, Mexican sunflower, Japanese sunflower or Nitobe chrysanthemum. It is native lớn Mexico and Central America but has a nearly pantropical distribution as an introduced species.[1] Depending on the area they may be either annual or perennial. It has shown great potential in raising the soil fertility in soils depleted in nutrients.[3]

Originating in Mexico; research has shown its potential in benefiting poor African farmers.[4] This plant is a weed that grows quickly and has become an option as an affordable alternative lớn expensive synthetic fertilizers.[5] It has shown lớn increase plant yields and the soil nutrients of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).[5]


Tithonia diversifolia is 2–3 m (6.6–9.8 ft) in height with upright and sometimes ligneous stalks in the sườn of woody shrubs. The large, showy flowers are yellow lớn orange colored and 5–15 cm wide and 10–30 cm long. Leaves are sub-ovate, serrate, acute, 10 lớn 40 cm long, simply or mostly 3-7 lobed, somewhat glandular, and slightly grayish beneath. The leaves of the plant alternate in sides they grow on, which is where the plant gets the name diversifolia.

The honey-scented[6] flowers are yellow in colour and range from 6–13 cm in length.[7] It can grow throughout the year and its seeds are spread through way of wind, water, and animals.[8] The seeds are achenes, 4-angled, and 5mm long.[9]

History and geography[edit]

Flower detail

This plant was originally domesticated in Mexico and spread lớn other parts of Central and South America and north into the United States.[10] It was brought over lớn parts of Africa and Asia as an ornamental plant and has become an invasive weed that is widely spread.[11] It is most commonly found in areas with an altitude between 550m and 1950m.[12] It is commonly found scattered among rivers and roadsides.[13] In Asia and Latin America this plant is also referred lớn as kembang bulan (Indonesian and Javanese), jalacate (Spanish), buatong (Thai) and dã quỳ (Vietnamese).[14]

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While T. diversifolia has moderate drought tolerance, the amount of rainfall that the African subtropics receives may not be enough lớn tư vấn the growing of this biomass.[15] T. diversifolia currently grows in humid and semi humid areas in Africa.[16] However, no evidence was found lớn suggest that it had been attempted in desert conditions.


A shrub

Tithonia diversifolia can grow in many different environmental conditions. It has a moderate drought tolerance.[12] It is ideally grown in areas with an annual rainfall ranging from 1000–2000 mm and a temperature of 15-31 degrees Celsius.[12]

This plant does not require a large amount of nutrients because it is able lớn increase the amount of essential nutrients in the soil itself.[17] As a weed it spreads rapidly which allows farmers lớn obtain large amounts for the use of fertilization.[18]


A study on the use of this green fertilizer on tomato plants shows that this is a useful method lớn increase crop yields in order lớn benefit the farmer’s wealth.[19] However, this is not without a serious look at the labour requirements. A different study found that, with maize, the overall labour demand versus the financial prospects is not worthwhile, especially in areas of unpredictable rainfalls.[20]

This same study also found that growing T. diversifolia on farmer land is not as beneficial from an economic standpoint. Instead, it is better lớn harvest from an off site location and transport lớn the fields.[21] From this study, fields that received only a Phường fertilizer yielded an income lớn the farmer of $50USD/ha. When only T. diversifolia was applied, this income rose lớn $494USD/ha.[21] The latter results are high, as another study showed an increase of only lớn $116USD/ha.[22]

Harvesting and distributing this fertilizer over the land by hand is very labour-intensive.[23] The best yields come when T. diversifolia is grown off the land as lớn not take up growing space. For this reason, when time spent on labour has been factored, this approach may not be beneficial lớn a farmer.[24]


Tithonia diversifolia can be used as organic fertilizer biomass. The biomass refers lớn materials that are derived from the plant, such as its foliage, being worked into the soil as a dry fertilizer.[25] Since its use as fertilizer requires high labour, it is recommended for use with high value crops such as tomato, kale, carrot, and maize.[26] For this use, the plant is first grown in hedges around the edges of harvest land.[27] It is important though lớn keep the maximum amount of growing area a farmer has. The green stems (not the woody stems), leaves, and flowers can be removed from the plant at a farmer selected time, though it is recommended that cutting every 5 months will give a plentiful amount of nutrients in the biomass.[28] The biomass can also be used as a mulch and can be left on top of the soil lớn decompose into the ground.[29] It has been found that the biomass from T. diversifolia breaks down rapidly and releases nutrients quickly.[30]

When applying the mulch or biomass lớn the soil, it should be applied at the minimum amount of one ton lớn every hectare of land. However, the best yield is given when 5 tons/hectare is applied.[31] The downside here is that a lot of foliage is needed lớn cover a small area of land because it has a high water nội dung.[32] Mixing this biomass with a synthetic fertilizer will bring higher yields. A study found that when applying tithonia with triple superphosphate (TSP) that the yields increased by 220% compared lớn a control test containing only an inorganic nitrogen fertilizer (Urea).[33] When using T. diversifolia it should be supplemented with a Mg fertilizer as this nutrient is lacking in quantity when compared lớn other green fertilizers.[34]

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Symbolism and uses[edit]

  • In nhật bản, towards the over of the Meiji Period, they were imported as ornamental plants although seldom cultivated there. Having a characteristic bitter taste, they were used lớn induce a fever lớn help fight poisoning, although not used for direct medicinal purposes. There is also the story of the species being introduced lớn nhật bản by Nitobe Inazo, hence its Japanese name, the Nitobe chrysanthemum (ニトベギク; Nitobegiku).
  • It is the official symbol of Da Lat thành phố, Vietnam.
  • They are sold in herbal medicine markets in Taiwan.
  • It is the provincial flower of Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand.
  • T. diversifolia can be used as a green fertilizer for farmers. It can also be used as chicken feed, fuelwood, soil erosion control, and building materials.[35] For fertilization, it is used as a mulch which can be spread on top of the soil or buried beneath it.[36] The advantages here is that using the plant as a fertilizer has proven lớn increase crop yields.[5] T. diversifolia has the ability lớn restore phosphorus in high amounts lớn the soil.[20] T. diversifolia as a fertilizer contains 1.76% N, 0.82% Phường, and 3.92% K. All three properties are lower in cattle manure, and Phường is higher in poultry and swine manure.[37]


  1. ^ a b "Tithonia diversifolia". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
  2. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Tithonia diversifolia". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  3. ^ Achieng, J. O., Ouma, G., Odhiambo, G., & and Muyekho, F. (2007). Effect of tithonia diversifolia (hemsley) and inorganic fertilizers on maize yield on alfisols and ultisols of western kenya . Biennial Conference, Kenya. p.259
  4. ^ Jama, B., Palm, C. A., Buresh, R. J., Niang, A., Gachengo, C., Nziguheba, G., et al. (2000). Tithonia diversifolia as a green manure for soil fertility improvement in western kenya: A review. Agroforestry Systems, 49. p.202
  5. ^ a b c Jama et al. 2000, p.202
  6. ^ Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray. Flora Fauna Web
  7. ^ Orwa, C., Mutua, A., Kindt, R., Jamnadass, R. & Anthony, S. (2009). Agroforestree database:A tree reference and selection guide version 4.0 . Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://www.worldagroforestry.org/sites/treedbs/treedatabases.asp
  8. ^ Jama et al. 2000. p.204
  9. ^ Lalith Gunasekera, Invasive Plants: A guide lớn the identification of the most invasive plants of Sri Lanka, Colombo 2009, p.109.
  10. ^ Orwa 2009, p.2.
  11. ^ Jama et al. 2000, p.202.
  12. ^ a b c Orwa et al. 2009, p.2
  13. ^ Achieng et al. 2007, p.259
  14. ^ Orwa et al. 2009, p.1.
  15. ^ Thor Smestad, B., Tiessen, H., & Buresh, R. J. (2002). Short fallows of tithonia diversifolia and crotalaria grahamiana for soil fertility improvement in western kenya. Agroforestry Systems, 55, 181-194.
  16. ^ Jama et al. 2000, p. 202.
  17. ^ Olabode et al. 2007, p.504.
  18. ^ Jama et al. 2000, p.204.
  19. ^ Wanjiku, J., & Kimenye, L. N. (2006). Profitability of kale and tomato production under different soil fertility replenishment technologies in western Kenya. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 29(3), p.138.
  20. ^ a b Nziguheba, G., Merckx, R., Palm, C. A., & Mutuo, Phường. (2002). Combining tithonia diversifolia and fertilizers for maize production in a phosphorus deficient soil in kenya. Agroforestry Systems, 55, 165-174.
  21. ^ a b Nziguheba et al. 2002, p.171
  22. ^ Wanjiku et al. 2006, p.144
  23. ^ Achieng et al. 2007, p.265.
  24. ^ Jama et al. 2000, p.216.
  25. ^ Liasu et al. 2007, p.336.
  26. ^ Wanjiku et al. 2006, p.137
  27. ^ Jama et al. 2000, p. 202
  28. ^ Jama et al. 2000, p.205
  29. ^ Liasu et al. 2007, p.336
  30. ^ Jama et al. 2000, p. 208.
  31. ^ Orwa et al. 2009, p.3.
  32. ^ Jama et al. 2000, p.215.
  33. ^ Opala, Phường. A., Othineno, C. O., Okalebo, J. R., & Kisinyo, Phường. O. (2009). Effects of combining organic materials with inorganic phosphorus sources on maize yield and financial benefits in western kenya. Expl Agriculture, 46(1), p.27.
  34. ^ Olabode et al. 2007, p.506.
  35. ^ Olabode, O. S., Sola, O., Akanbi, W. B., Adesina, G. O., & Babajide, Phường. A. (2007). Evaluation of tithonia diversifolia (hemsl.) A gray for soil improvement. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 3(4), 503-507.
  36. ^ Liasu, M. O., & Achakazi, A. (2007). Influence of tithonia diversifolia Leaf mulch and fertilizer application on the growth and yield of potted tomato plants. American-Eurasion Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Science, 2(4), p.336
  37. ^ Olabode et al. 2007, p.505.

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