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Marigold

General introduction
"Mary's Gold", the famous term in connection with mother Mary has fetched the well known name of this beautiful flower Marigold. It is one of the most popular flowers which are widespread in India and various countries worldwide. Spreading its vivacity in varying colors the flower can be traced in colors like lemon, yellow, bright yellow, golden to orange and there is also an almost white variety and these variety of colors makes it a preferable choice for the decorators and event designers. Marigold garlands are one of the most important part of any decoration at various happy and celebrating events.

This genus, Tagetes belongs to a larger family of flowers called Asteraceae, and is a native to
Southwestern United States especially Mexico. Easy to cultivate this flowering plant can tolerate varying soil conditions and is adaptable to climatic diversities as well. And not only this it flowers almost through out the entire year. The bright yellow and diverse colored flowers depict the vibrant life and beauty which spreads joy in its surroundings. Marigold is a vivacious flower which blossoms to the delight of the onlookers.
 

Physical Appearance
Dark green foliage and large globular flowers depict the appearance of Marigold flowers. however various species vary in length and also in the shape and size of the flowers. For eg, African Marigolds are taller but French Marigolds are dwarf sized. The height varies from 15 cm to 45 cm. The French Marigolds are early flowering double blooms which cover the plant almost entirely. The flowers can be single, semi double, fluffy double or crested. All these features vary and so does the colors as well and these colors prominently range from yellow, orange, golden yellow, mahogany, rusty red, tangerine or a combination of these colors.

Marigolds Love sunlight and thrive well in well drained soils. and if conditions favor then Marigolds

grow in almost all seasons keeping aside the winter break as frost hampers their growth to a great extent. A strong insect and disease repellents, marigolds do not demand extra care and treatment.
 

Varieties of Marigold
Across the globe, different varieties of Marigold thrive and blossom, a few popular Marigolds are listed below:

  • Marigold (common), Tagetes
  • Pot marigold, Calendula
  • Mexican marigold, Tagetes erecta
  • Tree marigold, Tithonia diversifolia
  • Desert marigold, Baileya multiradiata
  • Corn marigold, Glebionis segetum
  • Marsh marigold.
 

Uses of Marigold
Marigolds have a special place in Hindu worship and culture. They are often strung into ornate and beautiful garlands which are offered to the Deity in the temple.

The bright and light orange colored flowers are considered to be the purest gift for various religious reasons. the gods and goddesses. Beautiful garlands prepared by these flowers are used to decorate the temples and the idols of gods.

Marigold flowers play a vital role in transforming the beauty and decoration for weddings, festivals, and religious events.

The flowers are also used to prepare yellow dyes. The reason is that the petals of Tagetes are rich in the orange-yellow carotenoid lutein and as such extracts of T. erecta are used as a food color.

Many a times the color of the flowers is extracted to use as a food colorant for humans and livestock.

In South America, a variety of Marigold is used to extract an essential oil known as tagette which is meant for the perfume industry as well as a food flavourant.

Marigold is a pioneer plant which helps in rehabilitation of disturbed land in South Africa.

Their strong resistance to deer, rabbit, rodent and javalina makes them a strong repellent as well.

 

Medicinal qualifications
A delight for the eyes, marigold's beauty helps in soothing various ailments as well. An effective antiseptic, the flower is used to cure stomach upsets, menstrual problems, ulcers, eye infections, inflammations and wounded body parts.

Its intense rubbing on the affected body part brings relief in pain and swelling caused by honey bee or any other insect.

The flower is used to prepare a sprain relief lotion.

   
Marigold's fresh fragrance and infusion brings great relief in fever.

It can physically cure alopecia and is also used in the treatment of bladder and kidney related infections.
 

Interesting facts about Marigold
The religious connection with Mother Mary attaches a glorious thread to the Marigold flower which has thrived in great reputation since ages.

Strangely the Marigold has also been associated with death and is used in the celebrations of the Day Of the Dead in Mexico where it was depicted to be the flower of the dead in the pre-hispanic times.

One of the species of the Marigold, Tagetes lucida commonly known as Pericon is used to prepare a sweetish, anise flavored tea in Mexico. This tea has proved to be a reliable cure of stomach illnesses but beware consumptions in larger amounts can push you towards the door of assimilated hallucinations.

 
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