Despite their common name of African marigolds, these plants are actually native to the Americas. Continue reading for more African marigold information. The petals from marigolds are edible and can be added to salads – why don’t you try them? These also produce edible flowers, which are often used directly on salads when fresh or added to spice blends when dried. This week, I took a look at marigolds. African marigolds (Tagetes erecta), which are actually native to Mexico and Central America, were sacred to the Aztecs, who used them as a medicine and as a ceremonial offering to the sun gods. Last week I tackled Gardenias. These are some popular African marigold varieties: Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. *** When picking flowers to be eaten, make sure they were grown in a pesticide-free environment, (meaning that most florists won’t be a suitable source). In fact, because of their dainty, low-growing habit and penchant for dry, hot areas, they are sometimes called rock-garden marigolds. Marigold – Both French marigolds (Tagetes patula) and African marigolds (T. erecta) produce flowers that are technically edible, but the pungent scent is probably worth avoiding. The petals can be added to a range of salads, as in this excellent example: The plant is used as a condiment. 4. Signet marigolds (T. tenuifolia), on the other hand, are much smaller than French marigolds. Calendulas are edible to humans (in salads etc). 2. Pot marigold (Calenula) is described as edible, French marigold (Tagetes erecta) and African marigold (T. patula) just described as garden annuals. You'll hear both being called Marigolds, but the herbal remedies you'll see are based on Calendula officinalis. Some people claim that … African Marigolds (Tagetes erecta) With large, pom-pom flowers on either compact or relatively tall plants, African marigolds are popular for both the border and as cut flowers. All marigold flowers are edible (including calendula, also known as pot marigold)—but not all marigold flowers are tasty. They're very different plants, so just 'cos one is edible, doesn't mean that the other is. (This probably refers to the use of the flowers as an edible dye) Edible flowers are always best when picked fresh from the garden. In Mexico, African marigolds are a traditional flower placed on altars on The Day of the Dead. Marigolds are still called the herb of the sun becau… The marigold has long been associated with the sun. Sometimes, marigolds are referred to as the poor man’s saffron for its hue and flavor. Dried and crumbled petals can pinch-hit for oh-so-expensive saffron in … However common these annuals may be, many gardeners fail to realize that marigolds are actually poisonous. Dinner Tonight: Quick and Healthy Menus in 45 Minutes (or Less). A touch of earthiness from cilantro and a squeeze of lime for some acidity and brightness bring together a warm soup for any occasion. Calendula marigolds are yellow-orange in color and form small florets of petals that are harvested and dried for their numerous medicinal properties. To be honest, the bright orange buds were intimidating. However, the Tagetes erecta is native to North Africa, and then the Tagetes patula is now native to Europe, more specifically to France (2). Our French marigold has big bold maroon and gold stripes, like a circus tent. Sign up for our daily newsletter for more great articles and tasty, healthy recipes. Marigolds are not just a good companion plant – they are an edible crop in their own right. Esther. Tall varieties may need to be staked for support. They can grow over 2 feet tall and have flowers that are 5 inches across. In fact, marigolds are sometimes referred to as the “poor man’s saffron.”. They are popular among gardeners because of the ease with which they grow and their cheery yellow-orange hue. Marigolds . Edible marigold flowers are said to taste either mildly citrusy to subtly spicy to, well, like a marigold. African marigolds are taller and more tolerant of hot, dry conditions than French marigolds. For best flavor, grow Tagetes patula (French marigold), Tagetes tenuifolia (Gem marigolds) or Tagetes lucida (Mexican mint marigold). ... Signet marigolds are the tasty edible and can be picked and eaten and used to decorate salads just like the marigold calendula. Just as other marigolds, they grow best in a spot that is sunny and warm. Spiderwort, Marigolds, Rosemary, Smartweed, Pineapple Weed, Chamomile, False Roselle, Lavender, Forsythia, Borage Every time I see a spiderwort I think of Pocahontas, the 11-year old Indian girl who save the life of Captain John Smith (see my separate article about them and spiderworts.) While marigolds deter pests, they attract bees, butterflies and ladybugs to the garden. But if that’s not possible, don’t worry. Plus, the flowers and buds are edible, having a somewhat citrus-like flavor. Sign up for our newsletter. The scent of marigolds is said to deter these pests. Talk to people who sell flowers and even restaurants who use edible flowers, get to know your floral foods and get creative!Flowers are best eaten at their peak! Description African Marigolds Tagetes Erecta Flowers. It is not exactly poisonous and is used in gardens as an ornamental, that is often planted as a pest control companion for other vegetables. The Ancient Welsh used to believe that marigolds had the ability to predict the weather. While there are various species of marigold flowers grown around the world, calendula is considered to be the most medicinal. Cooking Light is part of the Allrecipes Food Group. Marigolds belong to the Asteraceae family of plants.They have many different names according to the species’ subtype, even though its botanical name is Tagetes, and they are native to the American continent (1).. Calendula officinalis is in the plant family known as Asteraceae or Compositae. They grow best in full sun and actually seem to prefer poor soil. French Marigolds (Tagetes patula): Marigold cultivars in this group grow 5 inches to 18 inches high. Avoid wilted or unopen blossoms. This toxin can stay in the soil for a few years. Marigolds Are Edible Plants. However, the blooms are edible not only for livestock, but for humans, too! 3. There is NOTHING delicate or subtle about these edible flowers. The marigold abroad her leaves doth spread, because the sun and her power is the same, wrote poet Henry Constable in a 1592 sonnet. Edible parts of African Marigold: The petals of the flowers of some varieties can be eaten. African marigold flowers are used as a food colourant in Europe, but have only been approved for use as a poultry feed additive in the US. French marigold (Tagetes patula) is an excellent choice for container sales and garden planting. What To Know Before You Grow Signet marigold (also known as gem marigold) is both bite-sized for use as edible flowers and an attractant to beneficial insects. Marigolds are a “sure thing” annual flower. The last time I ate something that bright, it was mixed into water and resulted in that sugary orange drink that I used to love called Tang. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. I've seen one or two references to the African Marigold (T. erecta) being edible. African Marigolds are very good bedding plants. He was kind enough to give this answer. These classic annuals are easily grown from seed and are much taller than their cousins, the French marigolds. Whatever you think of their flavor, the flowers are indeed edible and if nothing else a feast for the eyes. Thanks to their large pom-pom blooms in bright colors, African marigolds are sure to brighten up any garden space. Marigolds not only ward off insects in your garden, but they are also an antioxidant and promote the growth of new skin tissue. This helps them stabilize to support their heavy flower tops. Mexican Marigold Mint, also known by many other names including Winter Tarragon, Root Beer plant, Yerba anis or Cloud Plant (Tagetes lucida)is edible. They are unapologetically loud. Seeds usually germinate in 4-14 days. These flowers are yellow to orange and do not include red colored Marigolds. 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