Calendula - Bride of the Sun
Calendula is one of the oldest of all cultivated flowers; we have lived together for centuries. Early mentions of the flower date back to the Third Century, BCE, and known cultivation spans at least 600 years. Calendula comes from the Latin word calendae, meaning little calendar or clock, and has long been associated with the sun, as the flowers open at sunrise and close at sunset. Inspiring many folktales, Calendula is a sacred plant in India and was used in many ancient Aztec and Mayan ceremonies. Beautiful fabric dyes can be made from the flowers, and Calendula has many known medicinal properties. Calendula oil is used as an anti-inflammatory and to heal wounds. During the American Civil War, soldiers carried Calendula leaves and flowers with them into the battlefields to dress open wounds and burns.
How to grow and propagate Calendula:
Calendula grows in full sun to part shade and often prefers cooler temperatures. It grows well in containers, flowers from early spring to late fall, and readily self seeds. The flowers are edible. The seeds are thin, curved, and spiky; they are the coolest looking seeds I've seen. Collect seed heads when dry and store seeds in a cool, dry place. Sow seeds outdoors in the spring or start them indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost. Keep the seeds covered with soil, as light inhibits germination. Optimal soil temperatures for germination are between 55-60 degrees. Share with your friends!!