Calendula is a member of the marigold family and is popular as a cut flower as well as in creating herbal remedies. The Romans were the first to record using Calendula as an herbal remedy as well as for consumption, blending the flower with oils in cooking. Commonly called pot marigold or English marigold, this garden favorite offers a bright sunny pop of color with bold tones of celestial yellow, tangerine and shades of gold. Calendula flower blossoms contain a rich carotenoid which is used as a dye for natural fibers. For centuries this herbal flower has been used in healing salves and skin ointments because of its antiseptic properties. Interestingly, Calendula is well noted as a 'religious flower' and continues to be used in both worship and spiritual communion in the present day. Early Christians called this flower Mary's Gold, and placed it by the statues of the Virgin Mary while submitting prayers of petition. In India, Calendula is the most sacred flower. The flower heads are used to make garlands for celebrations and to place upon holy statues at shines and places of worship.
This sun loving annual prefers warm soil and will self seed prolifically. Calendula is quick to flower at 40 to 50 days and can be harvested throughout the season. Direct sow seeds after danger of frost has passed. Makes a cheerful container plant. Joyfully, just like sunflowers, the head of the flower will follow the direction of the sun while in bloom.