Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Calendula ... We have all seen the name on the label of some natural health and beauty product, or even as the main ingredient of a healing salve, but what exactly is it?  Calendula officinalis, also known as English Marigold or Pot Marigold, is a hearty, self-sowing annual.  It will bloom its little heart out all season long, and if halfway deadheaded (or as I do, chopped back mid-season), it will bloom well past frost.  All it asks for in return is full to partial sun.

When someone asks what I recommend to add color when little else is blooming, if they are open to orange and yellow, I tell them Calendula.  Though it will quickly fill in an area, it is also easily pulled out.  As can be seen in my photos, the orange Calendula have gradually taken over the yellow, so perhaps it is time for me to buy some new seeds.

My Calendula seeds came from a seed exchange, and when they arrived, I thought I had been sent the chaff.  Being hopeful, I planted them anyway, and sure enough, they grew.  The Calendula I grow today are descendants of the seeds I received years ago; they come back reliably every year.

Calendula seeds

Calendula seed head

Calendula seedling


  1. So glad I came upon this article too. My mom gave me some of these late this summer and I had no idea what they were called. We are Polish and I knew the Polish name, but not the American. These are wondering. Still blooming strong and seeded all over the place. Can't wait till they bloom next year. As always, thank you for the info.

    Margaret @ Live Like No One Else

  2. Again, you are very welcome. As you may have noticed, I collect names of plants, too, as common names are often regional. What is the Polish name for Calendula?

  3. The Polish name for it is Nagietki (pronounced: Nah-g-yet-key (hard g as in Gary).

  4. Look at these pictures make me feel to stay in autumn