Marigold: language of marigold flowers and plants

Marigold: language of marigold flowers and plants



Calendula officinalis




The marigold, contrary to what one might expect, has a non-joyful meaning in the language of flowers.

Its origin is linked to an ancient Greek legend: Aphrodite, deeply saddened by the death of her lover Adonis, began to cry and as her tears touched the earth they turned into marigolds.

Venus and Adonis, Canova,
Villa La Grange, Geneva

Hence its meaning of the Marigold of pain, sorrow, pain of love.

Flowers and Leaves

Strong anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, healing, refreshing, emollient and dermofunctional properties.

It is used to produce preparations for external, topical use or which are part of more complex formulations for cleansing and personal hygiene. Useful in case of insect bites, wounds, eczema, dermatitis, boils, irritations, redness and against the irritating poison of jellyfish, in the form of mother tincture in oleolites or ointments.
Marigold flowers are also used in the herbal field for the preparation of herbal teas.

Marigold is a edible flower, you can eat and use to decorate dishes.
SlowFood recommends: "to be used in the kitchen absolutely. The taste is spicy, savory, peppery. The golden color adds a touch of luxury to any dish“.

Marigold is one herbaceous composite, annual or perennial, cultivated as an ornamental plant, as well as a medicinal plant, which can sometimes be found wild. It is a polymorphic species, with branched habit, and stems 30-60 cm high. The root is taproot, about 20 cm deep, with a diameter of up to 1 cm. The yellow, yellow-orange flowers are collected in flower heads of 3-5 cm in diameter. The fruits are curved, squat and thorny achenes. The weight of 1000 seeds is 8-15 g.

Rustic, it adapts to different environments and terrains, in the hills in the sun up to 600 m above sea level. In open field, with temperatures of 15 ° C the seed germinates in 15 days and grows best within 20-30 ° C. The best soils are those rich in organic matter, well ventilated and drained, but with a sufficient degree of humidity. It is preferable not to repeat the cultivation on the same soil for 4-5 years.
It is grown as an annual in pot in the open air, fully exposed to the sun and heat but always well watered.

Marigold blooms from early summer to late autumn: useful to let the plant produce seeds at the end of the season, to be potted and cultivated the following year. There are many ornamental hybrids with smaller or larger flowers of the species.

The drying must be performed immediately after harvest, initially using higher temperatures (50-60 ° C) to quickly eliminate dew, condensation from breathing and vegetation water, as well as to fix their color.

Calendula officinalis

Sphaerotheca fuliginea: it is the powdery mildew of the calendula and mainly affects the leaves, causing yellowing and drying of the green parts
Entyloma calendulae: it mainly attacks the branches and appears first with yellow-green and then brown spots
Erysiphe cichoracearum is Alternaria calendulae: which damage the foliar apparatus
Cercospora calendulae: causes the lack of growth and decay of the plant and also forms circular spots of gray color

Among the insects harmful to the calendula we remember: Atropos pulsatorium that erodes it with the mouthparts Phytomyza atricornis that undermines the leaves Bemisia tabaci vector of the cucumber mosaicAphis fabae and the Myzus persicae which transmit the dahlia mosaic virus.

Card in precious collaboration with FIPPO - Italian Federation of Officinal Plant Producers

When to plant marigolds

In order to get the best marigold flowers we recommend planting from spring to mid-summer, or generally as soon as the risk of frost has passed.

As for the methods, it will be sufficient to sow directly in the garden once the soil is warm, in spring. You can start sowing the seeds inside, but in reality the marigold seeds germinate so easily outside that there is no specific advantage in carrying out this type of operation. The exception is African marigolds, which are best purchased as young plants or sown indoors for about 4 - 6 weeks before the date of the last frost.

Marigold flowers germinate within a week in warm weather, and the plants typically produce blooms in about 8 weeks.

Orsomarso Blues

Calendula, scientific name Calendula arvensis L. belongs to the Compositae family. It is a fairly common plant in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, finding it in uncultivated meadows, along roadsides and in olive groves up to 600 meters above sea level.

Marigold is an annual herbaceous plant with an erect posture, an angular stem covered with hair that reaches a height of 50-70 cm, very branched and with a tap root that reaches a depth of no more than 30 cm.

The leaves of the marigold are lanceolate, thick and covered with a dense down that gives it a velvety appearance, without a petiole, with whole or slightly wavy margins and slightly sharp at the apex and a beautiful light green color. The lower leaves are smaller and arranged in a rosette compared to the upper ones which remain more slender and large.

The flowers are arranged in flower heads that recline after they have bloomed, golden yellow, orange or white, 1-2 cm wide. The bracts surrounding the corolla are light green, oval in shape and slightly pointed.

The fruits of marigold are achenes.

The marigold is found in bloom from early summer until late autumn.

The genus Calendula is a genus well known as an ornamental plant rather than for its truly important medicinal virtues.

Of the calendula, all parts of the plant are used that are rich in (mainly in the leaves and flowers): flavonoids essential oils (more contained in the leaves than in the flowers) carotenoids and in particular the Beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, xanthines which give the characteristic orange color of triterpene alcohols (in particular faradiol esters) and saponosides (glycosides of oleanic acid).

It has been found that calendula does not contain sesquiterpene lactones responsible for allergic reactions or skin irritations or in any case the toxic effects caused, but many plants belonging to this family (and not only).

Due to its components it is used as an anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, healing agent and to relieve menstrual pain.

In cosmetics, calendula is used as a decongestant, moisturizer and as an excellent astringent.


The leaves and flowers of the calendula are used.

Marigold leaves can be harvested from March to November, picking them one by one while the flowers are harvested from April and June when they are not fully open otherwise they would lose their petals.

The leaves and especially the flowers can be dried but the operation must be done immediately after harvesting in warm, dry and dark places so that the water is eliminated very quickly and the marigold plant does not lose its color and its properties. .

Storage should be done in very dry places, as it tends to absorb moisture and therefore deteriorate. They are fine if stored in glass or porcelain or canvas jars and strictly kept in dark places.



Marigold, contrary to what one might expect, has a non-joyful meaning in the language of flowers.

Its origin is linked to an ancient Greek legend: Aphrodite, deeply saddened by the death of her lover Adonis, began to cry and as her tears touched the ground they turned into marigolds.

Hence its meaning of the Marigold of pain, sorrow, pain of love.

Language of flowers: calendula officinalis rich in beneficial properties… and love!

Ornamental plant in gardens and terraces, but also a medical remedy. The marigold with large and colorful flowers tells us the story of Aphrodite… Belonging to the family of aseraceae, marigold includes twelve species, the best known is the calendula officinalis.

Its name comes from the word caledae, with which the Romans indicated the first day of the month, since this plant blooms once a month, throughout the summer.

Ornamental plant to decorate gardens and terraces, it is also artificially cultivated for the production of cut flowers. Its beautiful flowers are also used as philotherapy and homeopathic remedies. Have you taken too much sun by the sea? Calendula cream is ideal for burns!

Do you think that in the kitchen you use calendula as saffron substitute and to color dishes and salads.

Do you want to know its legend? Aphrodite Deeply saddened by the death of her lover Adonis, she began to cry and when her tears hit the ground, they turned into marigolds. Hence the symbolism of this flower: sorrow and pains of love.

Give it to: your ex who is now engaged again to someone who is not even that nice and beautiful. In short, you are better!

Do not give it to: do not give it to your new boyfriend. It wouldn't be the best of wishes for a future together. How about?

Discover all flowers to give and their meaning. You will find ideas for original and personalized ideas!


  • 1 Description
  • 2 Distribution and habitat
  • 3 Uses
    • 3.1 Ornamental use
    • 3.2 Food use
    • 3.3 Phytotherapeutic use
  • 4 Cultivation
  • 5 Adversity
  • 6 Symbology
  • 7 Notes
  • 8 Bibliography
  • 9 Related items
  • 10 Other projects
  • 11 External links

It is a herbaceous plant with a fleshy and branched stem. It has oblong, shiny green, sessile leaves with an irregular margin. Once a month throughout the summer, large orange-colored flowers appear, grouped in flower heads, the peripheral ones ligulate, the central ones hermaphrodite and tubular. The etymology from the calendae Roman, which indicate a monthly recurrence par excellence. According to some authors this is due to the regular flowering of the plant [1], according to others to the emmenagogic properties [2].

According to Luciano Guignolini [3] "the origin of Calendula Officinalis is obscure, it has certainly never been identified in the spontaneous state, it is believed that it comes from Morocco or is derived from a species widespread in southern Europe and which reaches as far as Persia and 'Arabia: the Calendula Arvensis ". Widely cultivated everywhere, since ancient times, for the repeated flowering that reaches up to November and makes it ideal for decorative purposes, however, it can be found wild specimens in the Mediterranean environment between 0 and 600 m above sea level.

Ornamental use Edit

To decorate gardens or in pots on terraces, industrially cultivated for the production of the winter cut flower.

Food use Edit

The flowers are edible, dried and reduced to flour, called "Marigold".

Herbal use Modification

The use of flowers of Calendula officinalis in the medical field it has antispasmodic and healing effects. The decoction produced with about 50 g of dried flowers per liter of water, is recommended against gastric ulcer and afta has also sweat and preventive / mitigating effects of menstrual pain. For the menstrual cycle it also has an attenuating and regularizing effect on the flow (see). It is sometimes used in antihistamine products for allergies caused by dust and mites. In dermocosmetics calendula is widely used, recommended from time to time as an anti-inflammatory (in eye drops and intimate cleansers), nourishing and protective for the skin, anti-acne.
In domestic use, dried flowers are macerated in olive oil (50 g per half liter) to produce a remedy for burns and burns. It is also used as a decongestant pack.

They like a sunny position, rich and soft soil, not very acidic [4].

Multiplication occurs with the seed. In the southern regions and in Liguria, it is sown in summer by transplanting or thinning out the seedlings in September-October for flowering in November, which with appropriate shelters continues throughout the winter, giving larger flowers than the summer blooms brought by the plants obtained in the areas with a harsh climate, with spring sowing.

The seeds are placed under the corolla of the orange flower and have a sickle shape, when the flower withers and dries they become easily visible. Their shape allows them, falling and being wet by the rain, to remain partially buried with a point facing outwards. The seeds have, towards the external side of the sickle, a double row of protuberances that move away when the water and the heat allow the sprout to start growing, at which point the seed opens right at this point. hinging.

In the apartment it is advisable to throw the seeds, which can be taken directly from the flowers, possibly purchased in herbal medicine, on a pot filled with soil, then cover them with a layer of about 1 cm of additional soil and wet abundantly. They prefer sunny areas, for this reason it is better, if possible, to leave the pots facing south in order to guarantee sun all day. The newly sprouted seedlings are easily recognizable by the two elongated leaves, linear and thick like those of sunflowers.

Attacks by fungi such as Erysiphe cichoracearum, Entyloma calendulae, Alternaria calendulae is Cercospora calendulae, Sphaerotheca fuliginea which cause damage to the leaf apparatus.
Among the insects it is possible to find attacks by the dipteran Phytomiza atricornis, whose larva digs a long and serpent-like mine on the leaves, and of the aphid Brachycaudus helichrysi, vehicle of the potato virus Y. Other pathogens are Bemisia tabaci, Aphis fabae is Myzus persicae, which in some cases cause the curling of the leaves or the arrest of the growth of the shoots. [5]

In the language of flowers, marigold represents pain, sorrow and love pains [6].

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