Calendula is a genus of about 15 species of herbaceous plants in the family Asteraceae, native to Asia, Central Europe and the Mediterranean. The most popular member of the genus is Calendula officinalis, also known as Pot Marigold. Calendulas are admired by gardeners for their cheerful, daisy-like, bright orange and yellow flowers. Blooms may be single or double and are made of tiny disk and ray florets. The simple leaves are borne alternately along the waxy, smooth, or glandular stems. Calendulas are not only easy to grow, but also provide a long season of blooms. Once you see them bloom in your garden, you will want to see them again and again.
The genus name comes from the Latin word "calendae", which means "the first day of the month" as it flowers all year round.
Calendula is commonly known as Marigold, although other species also go by the common name Marigold. For example, Tagetes is also known as Marigold and this is the reason why Calendula is often confused with members of the genus Tagetes.
Calendula symbolizes happiness, joy and grace.
Interesting facts about Calendula:
Since ancient times, this herb has been used for various medicinal purposes.
It has been used traditionally to treat various diseases and conditions, such as fever, stomach upsets, ulcers, menstrual problems, capillary engorgement, chronic ulcers and varicose veins. The plant is also used to heal wounds, improve eyesight, improve mood, and ease digestive issues.
Calendula is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties and is often used to treat infections.
It is also well known for its beneficial effect on human skin and can be used to treat a range of skin problems, from wounds to acne. It can be used on cuts, bruises, burns, scrapes, and insect bites. The powerful skin regenerating properties of Calendula stimulate collagen, making it an effective anti aging and glow boosting tool.
Moreover, it can also reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
The flowers of Calendula are edible and make a pretty addition to salads, soups, stews, syrups, conserves and even cocktails.
Due to its strong orange color and slightly bitter taste, this plant has traditionally been used as a substitute for the more expensive saffron.
The golden dye of Calendula has been used for fabrics and cosmetics.
Calendula has many essential oils which are extracted for use in the cosmetic industry for perfumes, lotions, lip balms, face toners, massage oils and some bath bombs.
Calendulas have been used in rituals, religious ceremonies and celebrations through time.
The Egyptians considered the herb to have rejuvenating properties, while Hindu people adorned the statues of their gods in their temples with Calendulas.
Early Christians called Calendula "Mary's Gold", after the belief that the Virgin Mary wore the blossoms ornamentally.
Aztecs, Romans and Greeks used these flowers in many rituals and ceremonies.
The French believed that if you stared at Calendula flowers for a few minutes every day that your eyesight would improve.