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These bright
Marigold Herb
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.


Seeds may be sown directly in the bed, border, or flower box throughout spring and summer. The plant prefers a rich, light soil and a sunny location. Add compost to the soil if necessary, then sidedress with additional compost when the plants are well extablished. Water deeply during dry spells. It will seed itself readily.

Culinary Uses

The petals, with their slight aromatic bitterness are used in fish and meat soups, rice dishes, salads, and as a coloring for cheese and butter. The whole flower was used as a garnish in medieval times.

Medicinal Use

Calendula heals wounds as well as internal and external ulcers. It is an
Marigold Herb
antiseptic, and improves blood flow to the affected area. As an antifungal agent, it can be used to treat athlete's foot, ringworm, and candida. The tincture applied neat to cold sores encourages healing . Calendula cream is good for acne and diaper rash. An infusion is good for digestion and relieves colitis and symptoms of menopause.

Other Uses

An infusion of the petals can be used as a rinse to lighten and brighten hair. The petals also make a nourishing cream for the skin. Pot marigold makes an attractive cut flower and can be grown in the vegetable garden to help with insect control.

Other useful herb information: Meadowsweet | Spikenard | Red Clover | Red Yeast Rice | Vitex | Kola Nut | Eleuthero

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