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 Facts about the marigold flower

 By Linda Paquette

It’s a well known fact that the marigold flower is one of the favorites in the home garden, but as well as an attractive and useful bedding plant, the marigold has enjoyed continued use for culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic purposes as well.

1.The most common types of marigold are the wild marsh marigold, the tall African marigold, and the robust French marigold. African and French cultivars frequently are hybrid to sustain longer bloom and soften their pungent aroma. The resulting plant is called a triploid marigold, which is commonly called the mule marigold because of its poor ability to produce seeds.

2.Latin for the common or marsh marigold is Calendula officinalis, christened as such because ancient Romans noticed that it bloomed on the first, or calends, of every month.

3.For centuries, it was believed that the marigold opened in the morning and closed at night. This trait has often been mentioned in literature, most notably by Shakespeare in “A Winter’s Tale” where he wrote,

“The Marigold that goes to bed wi' th' sun,
And with him rises weeping…”

4.As far back as the 15th century, Marigold was thought to be a remedy for a number of medical problems including headache, jaundice, red eyes, toothache, bee sting, sprains, wounds, and ague (chills and fever). However, it was noted by Stevens in Countrie Farm that, “It must be taken only when the moon is in the Sign of the Virgin and not when Jupiter is in the ascendant, for then the herb loses its virtue.”

5.Early Anglo-Saxons called the Marigold “Golds” or “Ruddes” and flowers were often boiled to extract their yellow color for food colorings, fabric, and even hair dyes. After extraction, a yellow powder remains. In 1819, Geiger chemically analyzed the marigold and named this yellow powder “Calendulus”. Today the marigold flower still is dried, the petals ground and used as a substitute for the herb saffron.

6.Marigold petals mixed with chicken feed add intensity to the color of the egg yolks.

About the Author
Linda is the main author of Gardening Guides and Patio Furniture Ideas

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