Marigold - Calendula officinalis, known as pot marigold this cheerful plant has been used since ancient times. First references come from Indian and Arabic cultures and the marigold migrated along the trade roots with so many other things before the Greeks and Romans uncovered a myriad of uses for this humble plant.
It is probably the best known of the potherbs – in fact there are close to a thousand species of plants with edible leaves. While the leaves of Pot Marigold can be eaten in salads it is really the petals that have most uses in the kitchen today.
The brightly coloured edible petals look stunning scattered on salads and over summer puddings of all descriptions. It is the eye-catching colour that makes them so useful as a natural culinary dy. Try putting petals in with rice to give it a golden hue. Mix petals into cake batter and your finished sponge will be lightly tinted. In the past cheese was wrapped in petals and as it was stored the rind would take on a deeper colour. Butter was mixed with petals to make it look a richer tone as well!
The more cultivated forms of marigold have their uses too: Marigold Spanish Brocade, which is actually a French type, is said to deter garden pests such as whitefly. We grew Naughty Marietta in our greenhouse this year and we still have a sea of golden yellow flowers with their fabulous maroon splodges, we have has more bees in our greenhouse than ever before which has helped towards some bumper crops! Both of these varieties can be found listed with our flower range.
Each packet of Pot Marigold has at least 50 seeds for 50p
Spanish Brocade, Naughty Marietta and Crackerjack Mix are all 100 seeds for 75p