Friday, 2 December 2011

Marigold - uses and benefits

We were having a stroll around the garden this afternoon and saw this perfectly formed marigold flower.

Did you know the marigold (Calendula) is part of the daisy family and is native to the Mediterranean area. There as many as twenty varieties available, most of which are annuals but there are even a few perennials. Marigold is self-seeding and once established generally produces a show annually and can be thinned out for transplanting. Alternatively you can collect seeds annually, which can last up to two years or longer if stored correctly, and sow seeds in different areas of your garden.

We grow a couple of different annual varieties in our herb beds for the petals which make a lovely addition to salads, pasta or rice dishes and provide a peppery flavour. The petals can also be infused to make a tea which is said to help with digestive problems. This is probably based on the fact that the petals have been found to have antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Did you also know - that dried marigold petals have been described as the poor mans saffron because of its similar taste and ability to add colour to dishes.

For other edible flower ideas go to https://sites.google.com/site/cyprusgardener/home/edible-flowers

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