Three different cultivars of marigold flowers (Tagetes patula L.) (marigold orange, marigold yellow, and marigold red) were analyzed for the lutein ester contents, and the in vitro antioxidative activities of the flower extracts were compared. The total antioxidant capacity, reducing power, hydroxyl, DPPH, and ABTS •+ radical scavenging activities, iron chelation capacity, and inhibition of lipid peroxidation in a linoleic acid emulsion system were measured. Iron-mediated Fenton reaction was carried out to evaluate the protective effect of leutin against DNA damage. The marigold orange (MGO) variety contains the maximum amount of lutein. It also had the highest DPPH radical scavenging activity and ABTS radical scavenging activity, with an EC 50 value of 0.344 mg/mL. It was also the most effective against lipid peroxidation and hydroxyl radical scavenging activities. The MGO extract has the maximum reducing power. Hepatic cell damage in iron-mediated Fenton reaction caused by free radicals was reduced by the marigold extracts. Marigold flowers of Indian variety can be effectively utilized to produce lutein ester, which can be used as a food supplement or as an accessible source of natural antioxidants. © 2010 American Chemical Society.