Botanist's Glossary

Calendula - Calendula officinalis

  • Description
    • Calendula (Asteraceae family), with its bright orange flower heads, blooms almost all year long and self-seeds easily. It is also called "garden marigold". Its close cousin, Calendula arvensis, is a beautiful, early-blooming, wild marigold that is often found in the vineyards and olive groves of Southern France. The scent of marigolds has a distinctive green aroma.
  • Traditions
    • Marigolds were believed to have magical properties. They would be spread under a person's bed to promote a restful sleep and make dreams come true. It owes its name calendula to the fact that it flowers all year round; one of its medieval names was "flower of every month", while calende means "first day of the month". It is one of the most frequently used medicinal plants today. Calendula pills and ointments are often used for their antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, healing and sudorific properties.
  • Properties
    • The flowers are dried. The extract obtained from them is used in skin-softening and hydrating treatments. Ideal for sensitive or fragile skin and to treat burns, calendula has antiseptic, soothing and restorative properties.