Calendula

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Calendula officinalis

 

History

Sometimes known as Pot Marigold.

From the Greek Kalends meaning the first day of the month.

If stung by a bee or wasp a flowerhead crushed and rubbed in is said to provide relief.

A calendula leaf wrapped around a cut will stop bleeding.

The yellow or orange flowers were used to colour butter or cheese

Flowers are edible and will add colour to salads

A lot of calendula sold as bedding plants are hybrids.

Not to be confused with Marigolds which belong to a different Genus.

Tagetes patula – French marigolds are a good companion plant.  Roots release odours and secretions that destroy root eating nematodes.

Tagetes lucida  – Spanish tarragon has tiny yellow flowers and tastes like aniseed

Tagetes lemmonii – Mexican marigold – if fed to chickens will give eggs a deep yellow colour.  Citrus fragrance.  Place sprigs in water for a refreshing drink.  Grows to 1-2 m tall.

Growing

Calendula grow easily from seed sown from early spring. They will self seed easily once established and are a great cheer of colour often when little else is flowering. Self sown seedlings can easily be moved if required.

Maintenance

Will thrive in any warm sunny spot with little care.

Uses

Calendula has antibacterial and anti-inflamatory properties and forms the basis of many natural creams and herbal remedies. The flower petals are sometimes used as a substitute for saffron.

Petals are a great addition to your summer salads.