Floral Design with Cara: Calendula or Marigolds for October Babies

By Cara Ewald on October 10, 2014 from Floral Design with Cara via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Looking for a versatile and meaningful birthday gift for an October baby?  Then send a pot of Marigolds and a print out of this blog.  These all-purpose flowers are sure to make your loved one happy on their special day. 
Calendula, another name for marigold, means the first day of the month.  This is because marigolds bloom at the beginning of the month throughout most months of the year.  The bloom colors range in various shades of white, gold, yellow and the most popular, bright orange.  The plants golden yellow blossoms symbolize sorrow or sympathy.  The marigold is native to mediterranean countries.  Calendula is edible and is believed to be useful as a remedy for treating minor abrasions, reducing inflammation, soothes irritated tissue and controls bleeding.  Contrarily, tagetes, another type of marigold is poisonous. 
Calendulas grow single, double, and semi-double blooms that gan be 4 inches in diameter.  Loved for their hardiness and versatility, marigolds have had a wide variety of uses throughout history.  Ancient cultures used them for health ailments, dying fabrics, creating cosmetics, and seasoning foods.  The marigold is a symbol of passion and creativity.  In medieval England, marigold leaves were combined with crushed eggshells, added to ale, and drank as a cure to the plague.  Asian cultures use garlands of marigolds to decorate statues of Gods for funerals and ceremonies. 
Fun and interesting facts about Calendula:  In Biblical terms the marigold actually refers to the Virgin Mary.  Marigolds are often used in salads or substituted for the more expensive saffron rice. 
Carotenoids, the antioxidant responsible for the the vibrant color of calendula, is also said to lower the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer.  Marigolds are natural insect repellents.  The scent keeps aphids and mosquitos away from vegetable gardens, and keeping a pot of marigolds near a window will keep mosquitos and flies out of your home.  

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