Floral Friday: Edible Flowers – Calendula

Calendula officinalis

 

Calendula officinalis is one of my top ten flower plants to grow with children.  Everyone thinks of a sunflower as a children’s flower.  The pot or English Marigold may not grow so tall, but it matches the sunflower’s beauty, petal pattern and gorgeous orange and yellow colours.

 

 

Marigold – child friendly plant
Its family-friendly characteristics include:-
  • It is an annual & easy to grow from seed. 
  • It will self- seed. 
  • It is bee friendly. 
  • The plant will keep flowering from June/July to the first frosts (though you will need to keep deadheading for this to occur). 
  • It has edible flowers – use in salads or to dye rice.
Calendula
You do not see the grown flowers very often in garden centres so you will need to grow from seed. There is a wide variety of orange to yellow flowers available at varying heights.


You can germinate in pots or sow direct into the ground once the soil begins to warms up in March /April.

Do not confuse with French Marigolds Tagetes Patula which are not edible.

Marigolds on edge of vegetable bed
It is also used as a companion plant particularly for certain vegetables. It is therefore often a favourite on the allotment.  It repels whitefly from tomatoes and can lure aphids away from beans. It also attracts beneficial insects, including ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies, all which prey on aphids.  Wish my vegetable plot looked like the one above.
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2 Responses to Floral Friday: Edible Flowers – Calendula

  1. Juliet Robertson September 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    Agreed! One of my favourite plants.

    • Lynda@kidsinthegarden September 30, 2012 at 7:49 am #

      Much underrated and not just for the vegetable garden. So easy to grow.