Calendula Flowers (Calendula officinalis)
Latin Name: Calendula officinalis
Common Names: Calendula Flowers, Marigold, Golding, Gold Bloom, Golds, Sunflower, Ruddes
Description: It is an annual plant with angular branched stems and prominent pale green spatulate or oblanceolate sessile leaves with widely spaced teeth. The whole plant stands 30-60cm high. The vivid orange or yellow flowers are borne on a crown-shaped receptacle and, as the petals drop off, a circular corona of seeds remains.
Habitat and Cultivation: A native of Egypt, the Mediterranean and southern Europe, the plant is cultivated in temperate regions around the world. Easily propagated from seed, it flourishes in almost all soils. It has become naturalized throughout temperate regions of the world, often in previously cultivated land. Many cultivated varieties of marigold come from completely different genera and these should be distinguished from Calendula officinalis.
The whole flower tops or just the petals are collected between June and September. The flowers are harvested as they open in early summer and are dried in the shade. To prevent discoloration, they should be carefully dried in the shade and stored in well-sealed containers.
Parts Used: Flower heads – fresh or dried
Related Species: arvense, a wild species, seems to have similar therapeutic properties.