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- Calendula (Ca-lén-du-la, pot
marigold) is a genus of about 12-20 species of annual or perennial
herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae, native to the area
from Macaronesia east through the Mediterranean region to Iran.
- The leaves are spirally arranged,
5-18 cm long, simple, and slightly hairy. The flower heads range from
pastel yellow to deep orange, and are 3-7 cm across, with both ray
florets and disc florets.
- Marigolds are considered by many
gardening experts as one of the most versatile flowers to grow in a
garden, especially since it is easy to grow.
- Marigold petals are considered
edible. They are often used to add color to salads, and marigold extract
is commonly added to chicken feed to produce darker egg yolks
- Seeds may be sown directly in the
bed, border, or flower box throughout spring and summer.
- The plant prefers a rich, light
soil and a sunny location.
- Add compost to the soil if
necessary, then sidedress with additional compost when the plants are
- Water deeply during dry spells. It
will seed itself readily.
- Calendula heals wounds as well as
internal and external ulcers.
- It is an antiseptic, and improves
blood flow to the affected area. As an antifungal agent, it can be used
to treat athlete's foot, ringworm, and candida.
- An infusion of the petals can be
used as a rinse to lighten and brighten hair. The petals also make a
nourishing cream for the skin.
- Pot marigold makes an attractive
cut flower and can be grown in the vegetable garden to help with insect
- Developments with Calendula oil
offer a European replacement for tung oil. Tung oil is most commonly
used in paints and inks as it contains high levels of polyunsaturated
- Calendula has the potential to
replace the 5,000t of tung oil imported annually into the UK from China
and South America at prices between $1,200 and $2,300.
- Results from trials carried out in
the UK in 1997 indicated a yield potential of at least 2 t/ha at an
average 20% oil content. This straight substitution for the somewhat
erratic supply of tung oil would represent about 10,000 ha of production
in the UK alone.
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