The marigold (botanical name Calendula officinalis) gives your garden a wonderfully sunny glow, thanks to its typical composite shape in various yellow and orange shades.
The addition of the species name "officinalis" in the botanical name indicates that this cheerful flower has also long been recognized as a medicinal herb in Europe. You too probably know the nourishing creams and ointments with "calendula" in the product name.
What is the marigold?
The marigold is an annual plant with a thin taproot and a hairy stem. The plant grows to a height of between 30 and 70 cm and flowers from May until the first night frost. In mild winters, flowers are still blooming in January.
One of the marigold's historical nicknames is "sun tracker," a name that refers to the fact that the flowers always face the sun, closing when the sun disappears behind the clouds. The flower buds open at sunrise and close again at sunset.
Sunny colored flower
These sunny colored flowers have a typical composite shape, with the outer ray flowers in large numbers and often even in double rows around the inner tubular flowers. A game of "she loves me, she doesn't love me" can therefore take a very long time with this flower. The seed of the flower is crooked and boat-shaped. The scent of the flower is very typical, and there are as many people who love this scent as much as people who do not.
The marigold grows in the wild in fields and along roads. They are undemanding, only need a lot of sunlight and can therefore easily spread. Due to their need for sunlight, the plant is native to southern Europe and Asia. In southern Europe you can find them in the wild, where they bloom all year round due to the greater number of hours of sunshine and higher temperatures. They are less common in the Netherlands, but also in our country they regularly escape the gardens.
In southern Europe you can find Calendula arvensis in the wild, the field marigold. This is slightly slender than our cultivated marigold, and also contains fewer ingredients.