OE wyrtig, adj: Garden-like, full of plants;
On anum wyrtige hamme, Homl. Skt. ii. 30:312



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Calendula officinalis


Calendula in early medieval sources

      Propagation      Cultivation      Harvest

Scientific name

Calendula officinalis

Common names, modern

English marigold, poet's marigold, pot marigold, calendula

Medieval writers held calendula in high repute, and even today its yellow flowers continue to provide a substitute for saffron, give a golden color to cheese and brighten salads. Modern cultivars come in a variety of colors, are easy to grow, and make a lovely cut flower.




Although perennial in warmer climates, in most gardens calendula is grown as an annual.

Cold hardiness Hardy in Zones 8-11
Size 12-20" tall by 12-16" wide
Calendula plants


Each plant is slightly taller than it is wide, and will bear several blooms.

Calendula flower


Originally calendula's flowers were always golden yellow, but today new cultivars add pink, orange, and mahogany to the palette

Calendula cultivar

Calendula cultivar

Calendula cultivar
Calendula foliage


Leaves are long and ovate, medium green in color, and slightly fuzzy.

By seed

Very easy to grow from seed sown directly in the garden

Germination temperature 70o
Germination time 7-10 days
Moisture Keep soil moist but not sodden
Light Germinates best in full dark


Soil Happy in a wide range of soils
Moisture Water regularly during the hot, dry days of summer

Likes full sun or, in very hot climates, part shade in the afternoon

Natural habitat

Requires good drainage to flourish; has been in cultivation so long that some believe it is a very early garden escape

Vigor Deadhead for continuous bloom
Diseases Calendula is rarely bothered by disease or insects

Because calendula hosts some insects, such as the cabbage moth, that are bothersome to other garden plants, you should be thoughtful about where you grow it

Season to bloom/bear

Begins flowering about 8 weeks after germination; blooms all season, though may slow down a bit in hot weather and then resume in fall

green Calendula seed headSeed collection

ripe Calendula seed headForms abundant seed heads; ripe seeds resemble small gray caterpillars. Gather in fall when seed heads have turned brown but before seeds drop. Plants will sometimes self-seed in milder climates.

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F.D. Drewitt


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