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Marigold (calendula officinalis)
A half-hardy annual plant, native to the Mediterranean region and Iran. Marigolds grow up to 60cm/2 feet in height, and have daisy-like yellow or orange flowers from spring to autumn. It has light-green, aromatic, lance-shaped leaves.
They were cultivated in medieval monastery gardens, the flowers being used in possets, broths and drinks; as a dye for butter and cheese (before the now common use of annato; and as an alternative to saffron in rice dishes.
Marigolds are very tolerant, growing in any ground that isn"t waterlogged, but they prefer a sunny position. See 'Marigold, Culinary uses'; 'Marigold, Medicinal uses' & 'Sweet Marigold Buns' in Our Recipe Section