THE MARIGOLD – First Amongst Equals

The most common name for the October birth flower, Marigold is ‘Pot Marigold’, which refers to ‘Virgin Mary’. This sun-like flower also has many different local names like Holli Gold, Mary Bud, Gold Blooms and Bull’s eye.

The history and tradition surrounding the October birth flower is intriguing. It is believed that during Roman birthday celebrations family and friends offered congratulations and gifts which included flowers along with other gifts like gemstones. It is during this time that the origin of the Birth Flowers like Marigold came into being. Marigold is often worn on many significant occasions. The Marigold is often used to celebrate holidays like Halloween (October 31st) and Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October). It mainly signifies good luck, charm and comfort. Marigold also symbolizes sympathy and gratitude.

The people with Marigold as their birth flower are believed to be spiritual by nature. They possess good negotiation skills and hence are good leaders. They also enjoy harmony and comfort in life and are generally peaceful and sensitive by nature.

Marigolds are very popular throughout the world. It is widely found in many parts of South Asia, South East Asia, the Americas, Europe and Mexico. In South Asia it is used for Hindu rituals while in South East Asia it is used in Buddhist worship and other sacred ceremonies. In Mexico, it is used for the festival of the dead to commemorate ancestors’ spirits.

                       

Marigold is a plant categorized in the genus Tagetes, the name of an Etruscan’s God. There are approximately 50 species in the Tagetes genus including both perennial and annual types. Tagetes erecta, Tagetes patula and Tagetes tenuifolia are from the American continent, most notably Mexico. French marigolds were also found naturally growing in Africa. Tagetes erecta was brought from the African coast by a Spanish priest in the 17th century, planted and allowed to spread naturally. It was then found by a British merchant, shipped to England and called African Marigold.

Marigold is an annual herbaceous plant and mostly blooms throughout Summer season. The leaves are typically up to 18cm long and spirally arranged. The flower head color ranges from dark orange to pastel yellow. The best region to grow the Marigold plant is any sunny location which has well-drained soil. There are few other interesting facts about the Marigold such as that it does not smell sweet like most flowers, the Marigold flower petals are edible and that it is used in salads to add color.

From its resilience, outlasting most other annuals well into the fall months and thriving in even the hottest driest weather, to its intense fiery color, the beautiful marigold fills in the bare garden spots more efficiently than many other flowers. Even its name suggests how intensely this humble flower brightens landscapes. If you are looking to gift your loved ones something vibrant and spirited then send them a bouquet of beautifully bundled marigolds, it will surely brighten up their lives and bring a big smile to their faces.

 

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