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 seed head