Merry for Marigolds

Scientific Name:

Tagetes

Common Name:

marigold, maravilla, சாமந்தி (cāmanti), गेंदे का फूल (gende ka phool)

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Native to Central America, marigolds come in of orange, yellow, red and bicoloured. These flowers are made of overlapping petals that become dense and smaller at the center. Marigold is an annual flower, though some varieties are perennials.

Marigolds have a cultural, spiritual and religious significance in multiple cultures around the world. They are also used for their medicinal, ornamental and other purposes (i.e. dyes, food colourant). The Aztecs believed marigolds to have protective properties for those crossing a river. In South Asia, marigolds are used as offerings, or to create garlands to be used in festivals, religious and other ceremonies.  In Mexico, marigolds are used as decorations on Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Are they edible?

Marigold flowers are edible, though their taste differs depending on the variety.

Signet marigold or Golden marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia) has a citrus flavour. The leaves of Mexican marigold or Sweetscented marigold (T.lucida)  have an anise-like flavour and used as a tarragon substitute. Southern marigold (also called black mint or huacatay) is used as a culinary herb in parts of South America.

Use marigolds in a salad to it brighten up, as seasoning in dishes and to make colourful drinks!

Which varieties are in our garden?

We have African marigolds (T.erecta)

References:
 Bonnie Plants. (2011). Growing Tarragon . Retrieved from Bonnie Plants: https://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-mexican-tarragon/;
Specialty Produce. (n.d.). Marigold Flowers. Retrieved from Specialty Produce: http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Marigold_Flowers_6604.php
The Flower Expert. (2017). Marigolds. Retrieved from The Flower Expert: Guide on flowers and Gardening : http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/growingflowers/flowersandseasons/marigolds
Atlee Burpee & Co. (2017). Marigold History. Retrieved from Burpee: http://www.burpee.com/gardenadvicecenter/annuals/marigolds/marigold-history/article10006.html
Wong, J. (2016, June 12). Meet coriander’s closest cousin – Peruvian black mint. Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/12/meet-corianders-closest-cousin-peruvian-black-mint
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