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Flower of the Month: Marigold

Flower of the Month: Marigold

The marigold is one of the birth flowers of October! Learn more about this global plant here.

There is mixed information regarding one of October’s designated flowers, the marigold. This sunny flower comes in variations from a creamy white to a bright yellow to a cadmium orange and also comes in many different species from different parts of the world. While the U.S. might be much more aware of the Mexican variety, the marigold has a globally-rich history yet to be explored. Here is more about this flower of the month, the marigold. 

Marigold: Flower of October

The marigold is typically an annual that can bloom throughout the year, depending on the species. Marigolds can survive blistering summers and mild winters. Similar to the chrysanthemum, this multi-petaled, button-like flower can thrive in your garden from early summer through late fall, adding splendid color throughout October.

Origin of the Marigold

The marigold that the United States might be most familiar with is from the genus Tagetes, native to South America, and especially Mexico. Many call them African or French marigolds, but these names are misnomers. According to A Contemplation Upon Flowers: Garden Plants in Myth and Literature, Linnaeus named the plant genus Tagetes after Tages, the grandson of the Greek god Zeus, as he taught the Etruscans “omens regarding lightning, winds, and eclipses.” In Mexico, the people put the marigold on graves on All Hallow’s Day and call this flower the “flower of death.”

Other marigold species originate from the Mediterranean, Africa, North America, and England. The marigolds from the Mediterranean likely arrived in England around the 13th century and were called “Mary’s gold,” the legend telling that the Virgin Mary wore the marigold as a symbol of her halo. 

Growing Marigolds

The marigolds you find from your landscaper or garden center will generally require full sunlight and well-draining soil. They are drought-tolerant but do poorly in very moist conditions. They are often sold as annuals, but some perennial versions exist.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2022 at 3:08 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.