Friday, March 30, 2012

Marigold

Marigold, Tagetes erecta, Mexican Marigold
This species of Marigold is a native to Mexico and Central America, regarded as  flor de muertos (flower of the dead) in pre-hispanic Mexico and still widely used in the Dia de los Muertos celebrated every November 2nd (our All Soul's Day).  The Aztecs gathered this wild plant as well as cultivated it for medicinal, ceremonial, and decorative purposes.    Water infused with the fragrant essential oil of the flower was used to wash corpses in Honduras, and the flower is still commonly planted in cemeteries.  

Marigold foliage has a musky, pungent scent--it is said to deter common insect pests.  It is often planted with tomatoes, eggplant, chili peppers, tobacco and potato.

Since the pre-hispanic times, this plant has been used for medicinal purposes.  The Cherokee used it as a skin wash and for yellow dye.  Due to antibacterial Thiophenes exuded from the roots, Tagetes erecta should not be planted near any legume crop.

Marigold is widely cultivated in Thailand and India to be used as garlands and decoration for weddings, festivals and religions events.

The flower petals have been used in lettuce salads. Today, Tagetes erecta is grown to extract lutein, a common yellow/orange food color added to pasta, vegetable oil, margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressings, baked goods, mustard, and ice cream (in EU countries).  The oil of the flower maybe added to perfumes to infuse an apple scent into them.  The essential oil contains antioxidants.


 

18 comments:

Carletta said...

Beautiful orange color!
The green background really make them pop in your last shot.
My Dad used to plant these around our yard. The scent is pungent but it's one that brings back many memories.

CameraCruise said...

Great photos of the beautiful flowers!
Wish you a wonderful weekend.
Mette

Jama said...

They can be found in my country too, used in flower garlands. I can't stand the strong fragrance but I didn't know about the medicinal uses as they are used here only for decoration purposes.

NixBlog said...

Very interesting post and lovely photos, Miranda!

Thank you for participating in Floral Friday Fotos!

Gemma Wiseman said...

Stunning rich gold! And love the pattern detail of the marigold!

Kim, USA said...

I love these flowers because deer don't like them I think because of the scent. We all this in my hometown "utot2x" This also reminds me to plant the seeds now so I could replant it later in spring. Looking for a white Marigold ^_^

Flowers

Lui said...

So pretty! Where did you find them?

Maia said...

They are cheerful, so rewarding flower, blooming all summer.
Nice shots.

Karin M. said...

Superb photos, very nice ..
Thank you for your visit on my blog ...
Love greetings, Karin

Modern Mom said...

They are so pretty.

Pink and White Euphorbias

Rajesh said...

Lovely marigold flowers.

Maria said...

Beautiful shots! And thans for the interesting information about them! Have a nice week ahead!

Denise said...

Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos and giving us all this interesting information. Love your photos!

Carver said...

Beautiful shots of the marigolds.

vincibene said...

Wonderful pictures, i love the color!

Tito Eric said...

Where they shot locally? Beautiful!

SandyCarlson said...

You taught me a lot about one of my favorite flowers! What a history. Thank you.

kulasa said...

I truly love its color...pssst I plan to plant them in your yard..whether the hubby likes it or not :-)