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Calendula officinalis
Old fashioned ‘Pot’ or ‘English’ marigold raised from our own seed, and another truly multi-functional plant.  Flowers may be yellow or orange and are a constant source of ‘sunshine’ in the garden no matter the time of year.  The petals are great for decorating salads and the leaves are said to be very high in vitamins and minerals. The petals can also be dried and used as a saffron substitute or to make an edible dye.

Calendula is widely used in skin preparations and is known for its soothing qualities. It is also a cleansing and detoxifying herb when taken internally. In the garden it may be used as a sacrificial crop to entice aphids away from veges, and to attract hoverflies and bees. Flowers added to the compost heap are also said to aid quick decomposition of the heap.

A lovely plant for kids to grow – quick, easy, long-lasting flowers and edible. They enjoy mixing up the petals in pots of water to make orange and yellow teas and potions, using the whole flowers and petals for decorations, and harvesting the stems to make posies. Even the beautiful seed heads provide a source of fascination, and are easy to harvest and re-sow.

Prefers a sunny position and will usually self sow freely. Height to 50cm.  Frost hardy.

9 cm pot. Certified organic plant.

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Photos: Kahikatea Farm