Common name: Calendula
Scientific name: Calendula officinalis
Uses: Medicinal, culinary, decorative, cosmetic.Culinary: Flowers can be dried and ground and used as a good substitute for the color saffron provides in soups, stews, and poultry. Flowers can also be used for a culinary dye in butters and custards. Decorative: Dry flowers can be used in arrangements. Calendula also makes a pale yellow dye for fabrics. Cosmetic: Add to skin cream and also use in herbal bath mix to stimulates the body. Calendula is said to have some medicinal uses. Avoid use during pregnancy.
History: Also known as Pot marigold, the ancient Romans named this plant after they saw it bloom the first day or "calends" of every month. For centuries this plant was associated with the sun and believed to open with the sunrise and close with the sunset.
Description: Calendula has erect angular branched stems with fine hairs. Flowers are rays in solitary terminal heads 1.5 to 4 inches across, yellow to orange in color and close up at night. Leaves have grey-green margins and are alternate, spatulate or oblanceolate with smooth to widely spaced teeth. Leaves are also hairy and are 2.75 inches long. The fruit are achenes.
Plant type: Annual
Hardiness: Hardiness zone 3-9.
Height: 18 - 20 inches
Width: 10 inches
Light: Full sun; average
Soil: well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0
Pests: Slugs, snails, aphids, whiteflies, nematodes, beetles, thrips, leafhoppers, caterpillars; mildew,leaf blight, stem rot, smut, blister
Cultivation: Sow seeds in spring, plant 12-18 inches apart. Deadhead for continuous flowering. Calendula will self seed.
Flowering period: June to September
Flower color: yellow to orange
Harvesting: Pick flowers when open and dry at low
temperatures to preserve color, or macerate the petals in oil. Pick leaves when
young. Dry petals on paper and in the shade to prevent