Calendulas wink cheerily in the flower bed that stretches along the road like a colorful island in the middle of a grassy sea. These calendula are special with their dark eyes dotting the centers of orange, saffron, yellow, and apricot flowers. A wealth of lore is invested in these simple plants, also known as “pot marigold,” and the blooms Shakespeare had in mind when he spoke of marigolds. The Old English called them golds and ruddes.

An ancient herbalist states: “Golde is bitter in savour. Fayr and yellow in his flowur. Ye golde flowur is good to sene. It makyth ye syth bryth and clene.”

It is said, only to look on marigolds will draw evil humours out of the head and strengthen the eyesight. The petals may also be ingested in a conserve of sugar to be taken during times of plague and pestilence, or dried and added to broths. And if you’ve been robbed, marigold will give you a vision of the thief. But it must be taken “only when the moon is in the sign of the Virgin and not when Jupiter is in the ascendant, for then the herb loses its virtue. And the gatherer, who must be out of deadly sin, must say three Pater Nosters and three Aves.”


  1. Kelly Kirch // August 24, 2007 at 7:08 PM  

    Hi Mona! Great blog. Pretty, eye-catching colors. Very cool. Now you need Emmeline...

  2. Anonymous // August 25, 2007 at 11:54 AM  

    Thanks for posting! I think herbal lore is so interesting...I can see you do too :)