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Marigold flower (petal)

Calendula officinalis (Compositae)

Habitat and appearance: A native to south Europe, it grows very occasionally wild in this country, but more normally in gardens for its pretty flower, thriving in most soils. Only the common deep orange variety is medicinal. It has pale green leaves and golden-orange flowers, which appear from late spring well into autumn, being killed by the first frosts. Such a familiar flower to everyone hardly needs a better description.

Garden suitability: Old herbalists of the sixteenth century grew this flower for its use in cookery, medicine and for its beauty; we should do the same. Producing copious seed, it sows itself, increasing from year to year if left undisturbed; though, in fact, it is an annual.


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