October Birth Flower
Calendula, or pot marigold is one of the most versatile flower, it is a flower of the composite family. Calendulas grew their name from blooming at the beginning of each month, hence the Latin "calends" and the English "calender". The calendula means "throughout the months". The marigold is an annual flower that blooms well even over a long season. They bloom practically non-stop the entire summer and have few problems. Marigolds are also known as calendula, garden marigold, holligold, goldbloom, golds, ruddes, Mary bud, bull's eyes, and pot marigold.
Sometimes called "summer bride" or "husbandmans dial" because its flower head follows the sun. Its Latin or botanical name is calendula officinalis.
Calendula is a genus of plants belong to the family Asteraceae, and there are around 20 species of plants come under the genus Calendula. Some species of calendula are annuals (die in one year) and some other species are perennials (live more than 2 years). The genus is native to the region from Macaronesia (islands in North Atlantic around Europe to North Africa region) to Iran, with the whole Mediteranean region in between.
Characteristics and Physical Appearance
Calendulas have pale green leaves and produce yellow, lemon and orange colored flowers on long stems. They grow to a height of 12 – 24 inches. The marigold is considered to be one of the best flowers by many gardening connoisseurs because they are not finicky about where they grow and are very rugged. Marigold (calendula) grows well in all season except in very coldest climates.
The best flowering season for the plant is summer to fall. It has a low drought tolerance. The plant is a prolific self-seeder. They will begin to flower in June, and then continue flowering until the frost kills them. Do not confuse the marigold or calendula with the African or French marigolds, which are tagetes. Calendula contains high amounts of flavonoids, it is a plant-based antioxidant protecting the body against cell-damaging free radicals.
The Calendula’s biggest drawback is that insects like them and they are also subject to plant disease. The most common insect problem is aphids. They are readily treated with insecticidal soap or repellent, and sevin should also work well. The most common disease is mildews resulting in humid, hot weather or rainy weather. If mildew problems arise, you can use fungicides.
Many Uses of Calendula
Marigolds are good cleansers and can be remedies for the sting of bees, headaches, toothaches, stomachaches, fever reducers, menstrual cramps, sprains, jaundice, sore eyes, wounds and skin irritations such as acne, eczema, rashes and sunburn when the calendula is made into an oinment.
Many researchers are not sure yet what active ingredients in this plant are responsible for its healing properties. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties that prevent infections. Only the deep orange flowered variety is of medicinal use. The tea or the tincture in water can also be swished and swallowed to help heal sore throat, oral lesions, or gastric ulcer. It was used by the ancient Romans to treat scorpion bites.
This flower is also used by many gardeners as an insect repellent and by cooks as a spicy seasoning or coloring for food. Calendula flowers and leaves are edible and make an attractive addition to salads and soups. The flavour is usually slightly bitter and can add a tangy or tart flavor to your usual greens. A recent laboratory study suggests that calendula has some counteractive properties against the HIV virus, although animal and human studies have yet to be conducted.
A great number of cosmetic calendula products are produced nowadays such as calendula lotion, calendula cream, calendula shampoo and toothpaste. Calendula healthy influences oily skin. The lotion made from this plant also normalizes the activity of the sebaceous glands and is useful for oily hair. A hair rinse with calendula reduces dandruff. This plant has strong bactericidal properties against some pathogens particularly streptococci and staphylococci.
They make great indoor arrangements, before bringing them in they need to be checked for aphids. Sometimes they can also give off an unpleasant odor that is too strong indoors.
Contentment, excellence, gratitude and love for nature are characterized by calendula which is the October birth flower. Once considered the most sacred of flowers, in India it was placed around the necks of holy statues.
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