Jump to content

Calendula officinalis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Calendula officinalis
Orange C. officinalis at the UBC Botanical Garden
UBC Botanical Garden
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Calendula
C. officinalis
Binomial name
Calendula officinalis
  • Calendula aurantiaca Kotschy ex Boiss.
  • Calendula eriocarpa DC.
  • Calendula hydruntina (Fiori) Lanza
  • Calendula prolifera Hort. ex Steud.
  • Calendula × santamariae Font Quer
  • Caltha officinalis (L.) Moench
Asian indoor breed of C. officinalis

Calendula officinalis, the pot marigold, common marigold, ruddles, Mary's gold or Scotch marigold,[2] is a flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae. It is probably native to southern Europe, though its long history of cultivation makes its precise origin unknown. It is also widely naturalised farther north in Europe (as far as southern England) and elsewhere in warm temperate regions of the world.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

The Latin specific epithet officinalis refers to the plant's medicinal and herbal uses.[9]


Calendula officinalis is a short-lived aromatic herbaceous perennial, growing to 80 cm (31 in) tall, with sparsely branched lax or erect stems. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate, 5–17 cm (2–7 in) long, hairy on both sides, and with margins entire or occasionally waved or weakly toothed. The inflorescences are yellow or orange, comprising a thick capitulum or flowerhead 4–7 cm (1+12–3 in) diameter surrounded by two rows of hairy bracts; in the wild plant they have a single ring of ray florets surrounding the central disc florets. The disc florets are tubular and hermaphroditic, and generally of a more intense orange-yellow colour than the female, tridentate, peripheral ray florets. The flowers may appear all year long where conditions are suitable. The fruit is a thorny curved achene[3][4].

Calendulas are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including cabbage moth, gothic moth, large yellow underwing, and setaceous Hebrew character.


A double-flowered cultivar

Calendula officinalis is widely cultivated and can be grown easily in sunny locations in most kinds of soils. Although perennial, it is commonly treated as an annual, particularly in colder regions where its winter survival is poor, and in hot summer locations where it also does not survive.

Seeds of Calendula officinalis

Calendulas are considered by many gardening experts as among the easiest and most versatile flowers to grow in a garden, especially because they tolerate most soils. In temperate climates, seeds are sown in spring for blooms that last throughout the summer and well into the fall. In areas of limited winter freezing, seeds are sown in autumn for winter color. Plants will wither in subtropical summer. Seeds will germinate freely in sunny or half-sunny locations, but plants do best if planted in sunny locations with rich, well-drained soil. Pot marigolds typically bloom quickly from seed (in under two months) in bright yellows, golds, and oranges.

Leaves are spirally arranged, 5–18 cm (2–7 in) long, simple, and slightly hairy. The flower heads range from pastel yellow to deep orange, and are 3–7 cm (1+142+34 in) across, with both ray florets and disc florets. Most cultivars have a spicy aroma. It is recommended to deadhead (remove dying flower heads) the plants regularly to maintain even blossom production.


Numerous cultivars have been selected to showcase a wide range of variations, spanning from pale yellow to orange-red, and with 'double' or 'semi-double' flowerheads with ray florets replacing some or all of the disc florets. Examples include 'Alpha' (deep orange), 'Jane Harmony', 'Sun Glow' (bright yellow), 'Lemon' (pale yellow), 'Orange Prince' (orange), 'Indian Prince' (dark orange-red), 'Pink Surprise' (double, with inner florets darker than outer florets), 'Green-heart Gold' (double, bright yellow), 'Apricot Pygmy' (double light peach) and 'Chrysantha' (yellow, double). Additionally, the cultivar 'Variegata' boasts yellow variegated leaves.[3]

The cultivar group 'Fiesta Gitana' has been honoured with the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[10][11]


Pot marigold florets are edible. They are often used to add color to salads or added to dishes as a garnish in lieu of saffron. While the leaves are also edible, they are generally not considered palatable, though historically they have been incorporated into potherb and salads. Additionally, the plant is utilized for tea-making purposes.[12]

Flowers were used in ancient Greek, Roman, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures as a medicinal herb, as well as a dye for fabrics, foods, and cosmetics.[5] Many of these uses persist today. They are also used to make an oil that is widely used in skin products.

Marigold leaves can also be made into a poultice that is believed to help scratches and shallow cuts to heal faster, and to help prevent infection.[13] It has also been used in eye drops.[12]


The petals and pollen of Calendula officinalis contain triterpenoid esters, as well as carotenoids flavoxanthin and auroxanthin (antioxidants and the source of the yellow-orange coloration). The leaves and stems contain other carotenoids, mostly lutein (80%), zeaxanthin (5%), and beta-carotene.[citation needed] Plant extracts are also widely used in cosmetics, presumably due to presence of compounds such as saponins, resins, and essential oils.[14]

Moreover, the flowers of Calendula officinalis contain flavonol glycosides, triterpene oligoglycosides, oleanane-type triterpene glycosides, saponins, and a sesquiterpene glucoside.[15][16] Calendula flowers are a rich source of lutein, containing 29.8 mg/100g.[17]

Potential pharmacology[edit]

Plant pharmacological studies have suggested that Calendula extracts may have anti-viral, anti-genotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro.[18] In an in vitro assay, the methanol extract of C. officinalis exhibited antibacterial activity and both the methanol and the ethanol extracts showed antifungal activities.[19]


  1. ^ "The Plant List, Calendula officinalis L." Archived from the original on 2023-01-04. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
  2. ^ "Calendula officinalis". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture.
  3. ^ a b c The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening 1: 462.
  4. ^ a b Interactive Flora of NW Europe: Calendula officinalis[permanent dead link]. eti.uva.nl
  5. ^ a b "Calendula officinalis – L." Plants For A Future. June 2004. Archived from the original on 2007-12-26. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
  6. ^ "Flora of China, 金盏菊 jin zhan ju Calendula officinalis Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 921. 1753". Archived from the original on 2015-05-02. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
  7. ^ Flora of North America, Calendula officinalis Linnaeus
  8. ^ "Altervista Flora Italiana, Calendola medicinale Calendula officinalis L." Archived from the original on 2015-06-12. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
  9. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for Gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1845337315.
  10. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Calendula officinalis Fiesta Gitana Group". Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  11. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 13. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 May 2020. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  12. ^ a b Lyle, Katie Letcher (2010) [2004]. The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants, Mushrooms, Fruits, and Nuts: How to Find, Identify, and Cook Them (2nd ed.). Guilford, CN: FalconGuides. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-59921-887-8. OCLC 560560606.
  13. ^ Arana, Lide; Salado, Clarisa; Vega, Sandra; Aizpurua-Olaizola, Oier; Arada, Igor de la; Suarez, Tatiana; Usobiaga, Aresatz; Arrondo, José Luis R.; Alonso, Alicia (2015-11-01). "Solid lipid nanoparticles for delivery of Calendula officinalis extract". Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces. 135: 18–26. doi:10.1016/j.colsurfb.2015.07.020. PMID 26231862.
  14. ^ National Institutes of Health. "Calendula". Herbs and Supplements. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
  15. ^ Ukiya M; Akihisa; Yasukawa; Tokuda; Suzuki; Kimura (2006). "Anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor-promoting, and cytotoxic activities of constituents of pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) flowers". J Nat Prod. 69 (12): 1692–1696. doi:10.1021/np068016b. PMID 17190444.
  16. ^ Yoshikawa M; Murakami; Kishi; Kageura; Matsuda (2001). "Medicinal flowers. III. Marigold.(1): hypoglycemic, gastric emptying inhibitory, and gastroprotective principles and new oleanane-type triterpene oligolycosides, calendasaponins A, B, C, and D, from Egyptian Calendula officinalis". Chem Pharm Bull. 49 (7): 863–70. doi:10.1248/cpb.49.863. PMID 11456093.
  17. ^ Manke Natchigal, A.; Oliveira Stringheta, A.C.; Corrêa Bertoldi, M.; Stringheta, P.C. (2012). "QUANTIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF LUTEIN FROM TAGETES (TAGETES PATULA L.) AND CALENDULA (CALENDULA OFFICINALIS L.) FLOWERS". Acta Hortic. 939, 309–314. Archived from the original on 14 May 2021. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  18. ^ Jimenez-Medina E; Garcia-Lora; Paco; Algarra; Collado; Garrido (2006). "A new extract of the plant Calendula officinalis produces a dual in vitro effect: cytotoxic anti-tumor activity and lymphocyte activation". BMC Cancer. 6: 119. doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-119. PMC 1513589. PMID 16677386.
  19. ^ Efstratiou E; Hussain; Nigam; Moore; Ayub; Rao (2012). "Antimicrobial activity of Calendula officinalis petal extracts against fungi, as well as Gram-negative and Gram-positive clinical pathogens". Complement Ther Clin Pract. 18 (3): 173–176. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2012.02.003. PMID 22789794.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]