|Calendula officinalis subsp. var.||Pot Marigold, English Marigold|
Calendula officinalis (Pot Marigold) is a plant in the genus Calendula (marigolds), in the family Asteraceae. It is probably native to southern Europe though its long history of cultivation makes its precise origin unknown, and may possibly be of garden origin. It is also widely naturalised further north in Europe (north to southern England) and elsewhere in warm temperate regions of the world.
Calendula officinalis is widely cultivated as a herb and can be grown easily in sunny locations in most kinds of soils. Although perennial, it is commonly treated as an annual plant, particularly in colder regions where its winter survival is poor. Numerous cultivars have been selected for variation in the flowers, from pale yellow to orange-red, and with 'double' flowerheads with ray florets replacing some or all of the disc florets. Examples include 'Sun Glow' (bright yellow), 'Lemon' (pale yellow), 'Orange Prince' (orange), 'Indian Prince' (dark orange-red), 'Pink Surprise' (double, with inner florets darker than outer florets) and 'Chrysantha' (yellow, double). A cultivar 'Variegata' with the leaves variegated yellow has also been selected.
The leaves and petals of the Pot Marigold are edible, with the petals added to dishes as a garnish and in lieu of saffron. The leaves can be sweet but are more commonly bitter, and may be used in salads.
It is a short-lived aromatic perennial plant, growing to 80 cm tall, with sparsely branched lax or erect stems. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate, 5–17 cm long, hairy on both sides, and with margins entire or occasionally waved or weakly toothed. The inflorescences are yellow, comprising a thick capitulum or flowerhead 4–7 cm diameter surrounded by two rows of hairy bracts; in the wild plant they have a single ring of ray florets surrounding the central disc florets. The disc florets are tubular and hermaphrodite, and generally of a more intense orange-yellow colour than the female, tridentate, peripheral ray florets. The flowers may appear all year long where conditions are suitable. The fruit is a thorny curved achene.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Calendula officinalis, Linn. Pot Marigold. Annual: 1-2 ft. high, more or less hairy: lvs. oblong and more or less clasping, entire, thickish: heads solitary, on stout stalks, large with flat spreading rays, showy, closing at night. S. Eu.—One of the most universal garden fls., running into many vars., distinguished by size, color, and degree of doubling. The color varies from white-yellow to deep orange. This is the marygold of Shakespeare's time. The fl.-heads are sometimes used in cookery, to flavor soups and stews. The calendula is of the easiest culture in any warm, loose soil. The seeds are usually sown where the plants are to stand, but they may be sown indoors or in a frame and the plants transplanted. The achenes are large and germinate quickly. The plant blooms the whole season, particularly if the fls. are picked. It is a hardy annual, and in the southern states will bloom most of the year. In the N. it blooms up to the first frosts, sometimes beyond. Sown in summer or autumn, it makes a good winter bloomer.CH
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in any well-drained soil[200, 268], though it prefers a good loam and requires a sunny or at least partially sunny position[4, 15, 200, 268]. Plants flower best when they are grown in a poor soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 8.3. The pot marigold is a very ornamental plant that is commonly grown in the flower garden, and occasionally as a culinary herb, there are some named varieties. When well-sited it usually self-sows freely and will maintain itself if allowed[1, 4]. The flowers are sensitive to variations in temperature and dampness, closing when it is dark and when rain is expected[7, 244]. All parts of the plant are pungently scented. The growing plant attracts hoverflies to the garden, the young of which are fairly efficient eaters of aphids[24, 201]. The flowers are attractive to bees. Marigolds are good companion plants, they grow well with tomatoes.
Seed - sow in situ from spring to early summer and again in September. The seed germinates best in darkness and usually within 1 - 2 weeks at 21°c. The plant often self-sows freely.
Pests and diseases
Cucumber mosaic disease and powdery mildew can cause problems with this plant.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Interactive Flora of NW Europe: Calendula officinalis
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening 1: 462.
- Plants for a Future - source of some creative common text
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963