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Calendula officinalis - L.                
                 
Common Name Pot Marigold, Common Marigold, Scotch Marigold, Ruddles, Pot Marigold
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
Synonyms Calendula aurantiaca. Calendula eriocarpa. Calendula hydruntina. Caltha officinalis.
Known Hazards Low potential for sensitization and contact dermatitis. Possible allergies if allergic to daisy family plants. Topical use may cause rash [301].
Habitats The original habitat is obscure but it is found as a garden escape on waste, cultivated and arable land and along roadsides[200].
Range S. Europe. A garden escape in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       
Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer, Mid fall. Form: Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Calendula officinalis is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to November, and the seeds ripen from Aug to November. The 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.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: 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 prefers moist soil.

Calendula officinalis Pot Marigold, Common Marigold, Scotch Marigold, Ruddles, Pot Marigold


Calendula officinalis Pot Marigold, Common Marigold, Scotch Marigold, Ruddles, Pot Marigold
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Rameshng
   
Habitats       
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves.
Edible Uses: Colouring;  Tea.

Leaves - raw[14, 21]. When eaten they first of all impart a viscid sweetness, followed by a strong penetrating taste of a saline nature[4]. They are very rich in vitamins and minerals and are similar to Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion) in nutritional value[179]. Fresh petals are chopped and added to salads[183]. The dried petals have a more concentrated flavour and are used as a seasoning in soups, cakes etc[183]. High in vitamins A and C[218]. An edible yellow dye is obtained from the petals[46]. A saffron substitute[21], it is used to colour and flavour rice, soups etc[2, 14, 27, 33]. It is also used as a hair rinse, adding golden tints to brown or auburn hair[201]. A tea is made from the petals and flowers, that made from the petals is less bitter[183]. There is no record of the seed being edible, but it contains up to 37% protein and 46% oil[218].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiphlogistic;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Aperient;  Astringent;  Cholagogue;  Diaphoretic;  Emmenagogue;  Homeopathy;  Skin;  Stimulant;  
Vulnerary;  Warts.

Pot marigold is one of the best known and versatile herbs in Western herbal medicine and is also a popular domestic remedy[4, 254]. It is, above all, a remedy for skin problems and is applied externally to bites and stings, sprains, wounds, sore eyes, varicose veins etc[4, 254]. It is also a cleansing and detoxifying herb and is taken internally in treating fevers and chronic infections[4, 254]. Only the common deep-orange flowered variety is considered to be of medicinal value[4]. The whole plant, but especially the flowers and the leaves, is antiphlogistic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aperient, astringent, cholagogue, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, skin, stimulant and vulnerary[4, 7, 9, 21, 46, 165, 201]. The leaves can be used fresh or dried, they are best harvested in the morning of a fine sunny day just after the dew has dried from them[4]. The flowers are also used fresh or dried, for drying they are harvested when fully open and need to be dried quickly in the shade[4]. A tea of the petals tones up the circulation and, taken regularly, can ease varicose veins[201]. An application of the crushed stems to corns and warts will soon render them easily removable[7]. The leaves, blossoms and buds are used to make a homeopathic remedy[232]. It is used internally in order to speed the healing of wounds[232]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Calendula officinalis for inflammation of the mouth and pharynx (throat), wounds and burns(see [302] for critics of commission E).
Other Uses
Compost;  Cosmetic;  Dye;  Essential;  Repellent;  Weather forecasting.

The growing plant acts as an insect deterrent[14], it reduces the soil eelworm population[24]. The flowers are used cosmetically. They can be used in skin lotions and when added to hair shampoos will lighten the hair colour[244]. The flowers are an alternative ingredient of 'Quick Return' compost activator[32]. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost[K]. A yellow dye is obtained from the boiled flowers[2, 4, 46]. An essential oil is obtained from the plant[7]. It is used rather sparingly, in view of the difficulty in obtaining it, in perfumes that have a rather sharp tang[7]. The flowers close when wet weather is likely to occur and they can therefore be used as a rough means of weather forecasting[7].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses: Border, Container, Massing, Rock garden. An easily grown plant, it succeeds in any well-drained soil[200, 268], though it prefers a good loam and requires a sunny or at least partially sunny position[4, 15, 200, 268]. Plants flower best when they are grown in a poor soil[108]. 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[183]. When well-sited it usually self-sows freely and will maintain itself if allowed[1, 4]. The flowers are sensitive to variations in temperature and dampness, closing when it is dark and when rain is expected[7, 244]. All parts of the plant are pungently scented[245]. The growing plant attracts hoverflies to the garden, the young of which are fairly efficient eaters of aphids[24, 201]. The flowers are attractive to bees[108]. Marigolds are good companion plants, they grow well with tomatoes[14]. Cucumber mosaic disease and powdery mildew can cause problems with this plant[188]. Special Features: Edible, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers, Extended bloom season in Zones 9A and above.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
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[138]. The plant often self-sows freely.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[7]Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants growing in Europe. Also gives other interesting information on the plants. Good photographs.
[9]Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants in Europe. a drawing of each plant, quite a bit of interesting information.
[14]Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs.
A good herbal.
[15]Bryan. J. and Castle. C. Edible Ornamental Garden.
A small book with interesting ideas for edible plants in the ornamental garden.
[21]Lust. J. The Herb Book.
Lots of information tightly crammed into a fairly small book.
[24]Baines. C. Making a Wildlife Garden.
Fairly good with lots of ideas about creating wildlife areas in the garden.
[27]Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden.
A reprint of a nineteenth century classic, giving details of vegetable varieties. Not really that informative though.
[32]Bruce. M. E. Commonsense Compost Making.
Excellent little booklet dealing with how to make compost by using herbs to activate the heap. Gives full details of the herbs that are used.
[33]Organ. J. Rare Vegetables for Garden and Table.
Unusual vegetables that can be grown outdoors in Britain. A good guide.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[108]International Bee Research Association. Garden Plants Valuable to Bees.
The title says it all.
[138]Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 3.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
[165]Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism.
An excellent small herbal.
[179]Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao.
A translation of an ancient Chinese book on edible wild foods. Fascinating.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[201]Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting.
A well produced and very readable book.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
[232]Castro. M. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook.
A concise beginner's guide to the subject. Very readable.
[244]Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs
Deals with all types of herbs including medicinal, culinary, scented and dye plants. Excellent photographs with quite good information on each plant.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
[254]Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
[268]Stuart. M. (Editor) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism
Excellent herbal with good concise information on over 400 herbs.
[301]Karalliedde. L. and Gawarammana. I. Traditional Herbal Medicines
A guide to the safer use of herbal medicines.
[302]From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Commission E
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_E

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Kathy Stevens Wed Dec 6 2006
Calendula incorporated into an oil or gel is very ANTI-INFLAMMATORY on the skin and it explains the QUICK HEALING properties, esp. for feet of a diabetic when speed of healing is critical.
Elizabeth H.
Anni Dixon Thu Jul 26 2007
Anni Dixon. I used calendula tea as a mouthwash after deep and violent surgery to remove bone infection from upper and lower jaws of the mouth. It greatly assisted healing without infection. I was also interested to read somewhere (can't remember where now) that it is one of the few remedies for bone infection, when taken as a tea, which even antibiotics are unable to deal with because bone infection tends to lack a viable blood supply and therefore supply of oxygen. I have also found this tea used as a lotion for bathing the only thing to give relief to severely broken and dis-integrated skin during bad attacks of eczema on the hands.
Elizabeth H.
Megan Wed Feb 11 2009
It says nothing in here abot how they are used for predicting the weather
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