Common name: Calendula

Scientific name: Calendula officinalis

Family: Compositae

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.

Companion planting:

Propagation: Seeds.

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 sticking.
Garden notes: