A symbol, a healer, a culturally intense plant specimen to transport the mind and soul across time, region and the afterlife. It is in this fall season, the Cempasuchil aka the Marigold aka Gande ka Phool has it's last blooms in areas with cool winters and hard frosts.
There is so much to be said about the cultural significance of this plant. A native Aztec cultivar of medicinal and religious significance with an origin story describing true love gets named "Mary's gold" by Christian colonialists. It is brought to South Asia during the Colombian Exchange to replace another Tagetes species as the plant of choice for festivals, marriages and religious ceremonies. A solid seasonal outro is given to the flowers as people of Mexican heritage celebrate Dia de los Muertos and their ofrendas are adorned to honor those in the afterlife.
It seems that across time, history and region, everyone who has looked at this flower has seen something powerful. To us, this richness is somehow physical and can be felt when we plant this plant in gardens. It is a portal that connects the garden to all of these emotions, memories and futures.