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Calendula officinalis L.
From calendae, the first day of the month; refers to fact that flowers open every month of the year from May to October
Margarita, Courtesia, madalenis, Gazan, calendria, Primo fiore, Cantinedda, Frore de casa mese
Allen Enc.:Tincture of the leaves and flowers.
Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Asteridae / Synandrae; Asterales; Compositae / Asteraceae - Composites / Daisy or Sunflower Family
Pharmacopea:History and authority: Allen's Encyclop. Mat. Med. Vol. II. 419.
Description of the substance
Range :S. Europe. A garden escape in Britain.
The original habitat is obscure but it is found as a garden escape on waste, cultivated and arable land and along roadsides. Annual growing to 0.6m by 0.5m . It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to November, and the seeds ripen from August to November. The scented flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Bees. It is noted for attracting wildlife. We rate it 3 out of 5 for usefulness.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.
Habitats and Possible Locations
Succeeds in any well-drained soil. Prefers a sunny or partially sunny position. Flowers best when 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. The flowers are sensitive to variations in temperature and dampness, closing when it is dark and when rain is expected. All parts of the plant are pungently scented.
These bright yellow and orange flowers are a familiar sight in cottage and country gardens. The plant is a native of southern Europe but flourishes in cool, temperate climates. The petals have a pungent, spicy flavor and the leaves have a bitter aftertaste. It is used more for medicinal than culinary purposes. This hardy annual grows to a height of about 9-20 inches and has a long flowering period.
The growing plant attracts hoverflies to the garden, the young of which are fairly efficient eaters of aphids. The flowers are attractive to bees. Marigolds are good companion plants, they grow well with tomatoes.
Cucumber mosaic disease and powdery mildew can cause problems with this plant.
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.
All parts of the plant are pungently scented.