T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Tithonia diversifolia (Tree marigold)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tithonia
Species: T. diversifolia
Binomial name: Tithonia diversifolia
Synonyms: Mirasolia diversifolia
Common name: Tree marigold, Mexican tournesol, Mexican sunflower, Japanese sunflower, Nitobe chrysanthemum

Tithonia diversifolia is a species of flowering plant in the Asteraceae family. It is native to Mexico and Central America but has a nearly pantropical distribution as an introduced species. It is invasive in some parts of Africa and Australia and in many Pacific islands. Because Tithonia diversifolia is a prolific seeder and that its lightweight seeds can be spread by wind, water and by the movement of people, livestock and vehicles it has the potential to become invasive in New Zealand. Tithonia diversifolia has been included in the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD 2008).

Tithonia diversifolia is a robust annual or perennial herbaceous and bushy, woody herb or succulent shrub that grows up to 3 m tall. Leaves are sub-ovate, serrate, acute, 10 to 40 cm long, simply or mostly 3-7 lobed, somewhat glandular, and slightly greyish beneath. 
The large daisy-like flower-heads are borne in small groups at the ends of the leafy branches, on stalks 7-30 cm long. They are yellow to orange coloured and are 5-15 cm wide. They have 7-15 bright yellow ray florets that are 4-7 cm long and 9-16 mm wide, each with 1-3 small teeth at their tips. The flowers yellow centres (3-5 cm across) consists of numerous (80-120) tiny tubular florets. Flowering can occur sporadically at different times of the year.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/