Marigold Facts

Marigold Facts
Marigold is herbaceous plant that belongs to the family Asteraceae. This plant originates from Mexico and South America. Cultivation of marigold started in 16th century, when Spanish explorers brought marigold from South America to Europe. Marigold requires full sun and well drained soil for successful growth and development. It doesn't tolerate frost. Compounds isolated from marigold have application in medical, cosmetic, textile and food industry. Marigold is usually cultivated in ornamental purposes. It doesn't require special conditions for successful cultivation, which makes it very popular among the gardeners worldwide.
Interesting Marigold Facts:
Marigold has erect stem that can reach 6 to 48 inches in height (depending on the variety).
Marigold has oblong and lanceolate leaves with whole margins. Some varieties of marigold have leaves with toothed edges. Leaves are spirally arranged on the branches.
Marigold is usually yellow, orange, red and maroon in color. Each flower consists of large number of petals that overlap. Biggest petals are located on a periphery and smallest in a center of a flower. Flowers contain both male (stamen) and female (pistil) reproductive organs.
Cultivated varieties of marigold include multicolored plants and those with double flowerheads. Most types of marigold have spicy aroma.
Marigold produces flowers all year round under optimal weather conditions. Majority of marigold species bloom during the summer and fall. Removal of old flowers from the stem stimulates development of new flowers. Marigold produces dry fruit called achene.
Dyes extracted from the marigold flowers are used in textile and food industry.
Essential oils extracted from the marigold show protective effects on the skin. They are used in cosmetic industry for the production of creams and lotions.
Marigold is rich source of lutein, substance that acts beneficially on the human eye. Thanks to this substance, marigold can be used in treatment of age-related macular degeneration.
Marigold in a diet of chickens leads to incorporation of lutein into the eggs and facilitates treatment of macular degeneration. Eggs rich in lutein have brightly colored yolk.
Indigenous people of Mexico (Aztecs) believed that marigold has protective properties and used it for treatment of burns that resulted from lightning strike.
Some gardeners plant marigold in their vegetable gardens to protect vegetables from the pests. Insect repelling properties of marigold are not scientifically proven yet.
Marigold has edible flowers. They are often used as an ingredient of salads and for decoration of sweet desserts.
Marigold is susceptible to fungal disorders which usually manifest on a root and stem. Also, marigold is often on a target of spiders and grasshoppers.
Medical studies showed that marigold contains substances with anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
Wild types of marigold are perennial plants (live more than 2 years). Cultivated marigold is an annual plant (it completes its life cycle in one year).

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