Genus Calendula L.

Род 795 (44). НЕВЕН - CALENDULA L.¹
L., Sp. Pl. ed. 1 (1753) 921; Gen. Pl. ed. 5 (1754) 393; Greuter, Med-Checklist 2 (2008) 54

Fam:   Asteraceae (Compositae)
Genus:   Calendula L.
English Name: Marigolds


Annual or perennial herbaceous plants, usually glandular fibrous and fragrant. The leaves are successive, simple. The baskets are homogamous, the enveloping leaflets in 1 - 2 rows, linear, pointed, with narrow membranous edges. The flower bed is flat, without scales. Peripheral blossoms tongue-like, yellow to orange, feminine; inner tubular, yellow, orange, brown or violet-purple, functionally male. The seeds are heterocarpous, without a kite, the peripheral ones with a narrow beak, boat-shaped, the inner ones smaller than the outer ones.

Table for determination of the species

1    Peripheral blossoms with a tongue not more than twice as long as the envelope leaflets ................................ 1. - S. arvensis (Vaill.) L.
1* Peripheral blossoms most often with a tongue at least twice as long as the envelope leaflets ........................................ - C. officinalis L.
¹ Developed by †B. Kuzmanov.

From:   „Флора на Република България”, том XI, БАН, Академично издателство „Проф. Марин Дринов”, София, (2013)

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Calendula (/kəˈlɛndjuːlə/)[1] is a genus of about 15–20 species[2] of annual and perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae that are often known as marigolds.[3]:771 They are native to southwestern Asia, western Europe, Macaronesia, and the Mediterranean. Other plants are also known as marigolds, such as corn marigold, desert marigold, marsh marigold, and plants of the genus Tagetes.
The genus name Calendula is a modern Latin diminutive of calendae, meaning "little calendar", "little clock" or possibly "little weather-glass".[4] The common name "marigold"[4] refers to the Virgin Mary. The most commonly cultivated and used member of the genus is the pot marigold (Calendula officinalis). Popular herbal and cosmetic products named "calendula" invariably derive from C. officinalis.


Calendula was not a major medicinal herb but it was used in historic times for headaches, red eye, fever and toothaches. As late as the 17th century Nicholas Culpeper claimed calendula benefited the heart, but it wasn't considered an especially efficacious medicine.[5]
In historic times calendula was more often used for magical purposes than medicinal ones. One 16th-century potion containing calendula claimed to reveal fairies. An unmarried woman with two suitors would take a blend of powdered calendula, marjoram, wormwood and thyme simmered in honey and white wine used as an ointment in a ritual to reveal her true match.[5]
Romans and Greeks used the golden calendula in many rituals and ceremonies, sometimes wearing crowns or garlands made from the flowers. One of its nicknames is "Mary's Gold," referring to the flowers' use in early Catholic events in some countries. Calendula flowers are sacred flowers in India and have been used to decorate the statues of Hindu deities since early times.[6]
However, the most common use in historic times was culinary, and the plant was used for both its color and its flavor. They were used for dumplings, wine, oatmeal and puddings. In English cuisine calendula were often cooked in the same pot with spinach, or used to flavor stewed birds. According to John Gerard, every proper soup of Dutch cuisine in his era would include calendula petals.[5]


The petals are edible and can be used fresh in salads or dried and used to color cheese or as a substitute for saffron.[7] It can be used to add color to soups, stews, poultry dishes, custards and liquors.[5]


A yellow dye can be extracted from the flowers.[7]


The flowers of C. officinalis contain flavonol glycosides, triterpene oligoglycosides, oleanane-type triterpene glycosides, saponins, and a sesquiterpene glucoside.[8][9]

Pharmacological effects

Calendula oil is still used medicinally. The oil of C. officinalis is used as an anti-inflammatory and a remedy for healing wounds.[10] Calendula ointments are skin products available for use on minor cuts, burns, and skin irritation;[11] however, evidence of their effectiveness is weak.[11][12]
Plant pharmacological studies have suggested that Calendula extracts have antiviral, antigenotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro.[13] In herbalism, Calendula in suspension or in tincture is used topically for treating acne, reducing inflammation, controlling bleeding, and soothing irritated tissue.[14][15] Limited evidence indicates Calendula cream or ointment is effective in treating radiation dermatitis.[16][17] Topical application of C. officinalis ointment has helped to prevent dermatitis and pain; thus reducing the incidence rate of skipped radiation treatments in randomized trials.[15]
Calendula has been used traditionally for abdominal cramps and constipation.[18] In experiments with rabbit jejunum, the aqueous-ethanol extract of C. officinalis flowers was shown to have both spasmolytic and spasmogenic effects, thus providing a scientific rationale for this traditional use.[18] An aqueous extract of C. officinalis obtained by a novel extraction method has demonstrated antitumor (cytotoxic) activity and immunomodulatory properties (lymphocyte activation) in vitro, as well as antitumor activity in mice.[13]
Calendula plants are known to cause allergic reactions,[19][20] and should be avoided during pregnancy.[19]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Distribution in Bulgaria: (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

References: „Флора на Република България”, том XI, БАН, Академично издателство „Проф. Марин Дринов”, София, (2013), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Calendula arvensis (Vaill.) L. - Field marigold

Calendula officinalis L. - Pot marigold, Ruddles, Common marigold or Scotch marigold


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