Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Calendura 'Pacific Beauty' Mix

Botanical name: Calendula officinalis (Compositae)
Other name: Pot Marigold, Scotch Marigold

Calendula officinalis is an aromatic annual plant, that belongs to the Asteraceae family. Typically, it grows to about half a meter in height. The stems are straight and ramified. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate, hairy on both sides and 5 to 15 cm long with toothed margins. The inflorescences are thick capitula or flower-heads (3-8 cm) surrounded by two rows of hairy bracts. The tubular, hermaphrodite, central flowers are generally, of a more intense orange-yellow colour than the female, tridentate, peripheral flowers. The flower-heads appear all year long. The fruit is a thorny curved achene. The "Pacific Beauty" variety is a mix of yellow, orange, apricot, and cream colors.

How to grow
For cold winter climates, you can sow outdoor in early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. For warm winter climates, sow outdoor in early fall for winter/spring blooms. You can also sow inside 6 to 8 weeks before average last frost (recommend for cold winter climates)

Flower Type: Annual
Bloom Time: Summer to early summer, Fall
Height: 12" to 24"
Exposure: Full Sun
Seed Depth: 1/4" to 1/2"
Seed Spacing: 2"
Days to Emerge: 5 to 15
Thinning: When 1" tall thin to 12" apart

The leaves and petals of the Pot Marigold are edible, with the petals added to dishes as a garnish and in lieu of saffron. The leaves can be sweet but are more commonly bitter, and may be used in salads. It was used in ancient Greek, Roman, Arabic and Indian cultures as a medicinal herb as well as a dye for fabrics, foods and cosmetics. It is a popular cultivated herb or Long lasting cut flower, great in parking strips, containers, and borders.

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