I am growing Calendula in my herb garden for the first time this year -- and what a shame that I’ve lived so many summers without growing this beauty! Not only is it a pretty flower (which sits in little vases and brightens up my kitchen), but it also self-sows and blooms as fast as I can pick it.
But that’s not all.
One of its many names is the “poets marigold” because of two features:
1) It opens its petals at about 9:00 each morning, slowly follows the sun throughout the day, and then closes up shop at about 3:00 each afternoon.
2) During the night, droplets of water will often gather in the flower and then drop off of its petals when it opens in the morning.
Who wouldn’t want to write about a weeping flower/loyal sun-worshipper?!
And there’s more.
The Calendula is incredibly healing -- its petals are edible and contain all kinds of healthy properties, with The Herb Society of America noting that it is a probable cancer preventative food since it contains carotenoids, lycopine, and lutein. And it’s versatile: the leaves can be boiled and eaten like spinach, the buds can be pickled and used like capers, fresh petals can be tossed into a salad, and the dried petals can act as a saffron substitute, as well as flavor broth and color cheese.
I for one, am looking forward to creating a Calendula infused oil and then using that infusion in salves and soaps -- since it’s also an anti-inflammatory and an astringent used to heal bruises, burns, and cuts. I imagine a Caledula/Lavender soap would be amazing!
I think this little flower is going to keep me very busy in the next few weeks!
*Thanks to my sister Stephanie for the title!
Hello! My name is Pam Reynolds Baker and I am a mom/wife, writer, and lavender farmer who lives in Dundee Oregon .