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Pot marigold, flos (Calendula officinalis, flores)

Pot marigold, flos

(Calendula officinalis, flores)

       Calendula officinalis is an aromatic annual plant, that belongs to the Asteraceae family. Typically, it grows to about half a meter in height. The stems are straight and ramified. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate, hairy on both sides and 5 to 15 cm long with toothed margins. The inflorescences are thick capitula or flower-heads (3-8 cm) surrounded by two rows of hairy bracts. The tubular, hermaphrodite, central flowers are generally, of a more intense orange-yellow colour than the female, tridentate, peripheral flowers. The flower-heads appear all year long. The fruit is a thorny curved achene. Calendula is wonderfully soothing to the skin. Because it is anti-inflammatory, astringent and antimicrobial, it can be used to help heal wounds, cuts, scrapes, rashes, bee stings, burns and bruises. The plant contains large amounts of iodine and manganese, as well as carotene, and all of these attributes promote the regeneration of skin cells. The herb eases digestive disorders, such as colitis, peptic ulcers and gastritis. Calendula is a cleansing and detoxifying herb, good for ailments of the liver and gallbladder. Due to its concentration of carotenoids, calendula flowers are high in antioxidants, which protect against cell-damaging free radicals.

       Ligulate florets consist of a yellow, orange or orange-yellow ligule, 35mm wide and about 7 mm in the middle part, with 3-toothed apex and hairy, partly sickle-shaped, yellowish-brown to orange-brown tube with projecting style and 2-lobed stigma; occasionally with a partly bent yellowish-brown to orange-brown ovary. Tubular florets about 5 mm long, consist of yellow, orange-red or red-violet 5-lobed corolla and yellowish-brown or orange-brown tube, hairy in its lower part, mostly with a bent yellowish-brown to orangebrown ovary. Odour: faint, pleasantly aromatic; taste: bitter.