The lovely marigolds are hard to miss and impossible to ignore. These bright-colored flowers light up any space and occasion. They bring a ray of joy and positivity to the recipient and shower a bundle of joy on the giver.
The humble marigolds come with a rich history. This article is dedicated to the beautiful marigolds, which are not only soothing to the eye, but also are endowed with goodness.
Marigolds belong to the genus Tagetes of the family Asteraceae. Tagetes is derived from the Latin word Tages, which is a reference to an Etruscan deity (Etruscan being a civilization of the pre-Romanian times). The name in particular means upright or erect.
Asteraceae is one of the largest flowering plant families with over thousands of shrubs, vines, herbs and trees within its fold. The name Asteraceae is a combination of the Latin word Aster, which means “star”, and the suffix -aceae is a feminine plural form of “-āceus”, which means “resembling”.
As a Tagetes member, Marigold carries specific features common to the clan. These flowers come in an attractive orange, red or yellow color. Marigolds are usually clustered on stems with a definitive cut. Marigolds are native to the southwestern region of North America, South America and the tropical American regions.
Mexican Marigold and African Marigold are the most prevalent types of marigolds. The African marigolds are a native plant of Mexico. French marigold, another popular variety, is well-known for its leaves, which carry a strong scent. Another variety is the pot marigold or the Calendula, which is grown for its medicinal value.
Ever wondered about marigold flower meaning?
The English marigold is taken from “Mary’s Gold”. Christians of the earlier times used marigolds to honor Virgin Mary. These flowers were used as an adornment on altars.
Marigolds are fast-growing plants. The seeds take only a few days to germinate. You can expect blooms to appear in roughly 8 weeks. With soil that drains water well, and plenty of sunlight, marigolds can keep blooming from the end of spring to fall.
What Do Marigold Flowers Symbolize?
Marigolds are symbolic of the sun for the obvious reason that they are at their best in sunshine. Marigolds bloom only in full sunlight. As a symbol of the sun, they are believed to represent the sun’s movements throughout the day.
The marigold is also associated with the zodiac sign Leo. This sign governs the heart, which is why marigolds are good for the heart.
Offered as a sacred gift to Virgin Mary, these flowers are also symbolic of Mary. The golden petals of the flower are associated with the crown of Virgin Mary. The flowers bloom during festivals honoring Virgin Mary. They serve as a rich offering for the poor that cannot afford gold or money.
What Do the Various Colors of the Marigold Mean?
Marigolds have been in Mexico for over 2000 years. They have been in India for about 350 years. Marigolds have been an element of significance in Aztec lifestyle. Aztecs are people believed to belong to Aztlan – a mythical city in the north of Mexico. Marigolds were part of the Aztecs’ medicinal culture.
Europe was introduced to marigolds when Spanish explorers entered the continent from South America and brought the flowers with them.
There are different attractive colors of marigold, each mesmerizing in its unique way. Did you know that marigold flower meaning varies with its color?
In the Victorian era, for example, it was believed that marigolds carry messages of sadness and cruelty. A reason for such association could be the way the flowers blossomed only in the sun.
Marigolds bloom in full sun but bend toward dusk. They carry dew drops within their petals, which appear as tears on the petals when they bloom in the morning sun.
The Irish believed that marigolds could protect them from evil influences. They believed marigolds to be gifts from fairies that endowed the flowers with such protective abilities. These flowers are a regular on Irish May Day, which celebrates the start of summer. Marigolds are collected after dusk on this day and hung on doors as a mark of respect to the sacred summer cycle.
Let us understand what each color of marigold symbolizes.
The Mexican marigold of the yellow variety is quite a captivating flower. A dense head is a characteristic of this herbaceous annual plant. The yellow marigold is often planted on the garden limits to prevent spread of pests. They are also cultivated as companion plants for the same reason.
The yellow marigold flower meaning is associated with life’s riches and a desire for change. The flower is symbolic of positivity and new opportunities that need to be explored with an open mind.
These bright red blooms are symbolic of a range of emotions, including passion, grief, affection and sympathy. They represent undying love and support during grief and enduring love and fidelity in relationships. Poets and plays associate red marigolds with sadness.
Red marigolds are also flowers that indicate the depth of one’s sadness, passion, creativity and happiness.
Orange blooms are bright in color. They express purity, innocence and a vivid imagination. The bright orange blooms are associated with spiritual and mental healing.
Interesting Facts About Marigold
Marigolds carry spiritual and cultural significance. The ancient Aztecs believed these gorgeous flowers to be their able aids in locating rivers. The flowers were also used for their medicinal properties, especially for healing people struck by lightning.
In Mexico, marigolds served their purposes as teas – the flowers were used to prepare teas during rituals and while administering medical treatments.
Here are more interesting facts about this beautiful flower:
· The African marigold thrives in full sun, as sunlight allows it to bloom. The plant can tolerate a little shade in the afternoons but full shade can destroy the plants. The African marigold leaves a fragrance when leaves or flowers are crushed or brushed.
· Marigolds are grown in vegetable gardens due to their ability to repel pests and predators.
· Whether you are growing your garden for the first time, or are introducing your children to the beauty of plants and gardening, growing marigolds can help. As these are fast-growing plants, you will experience deep joy and satisfaction of your success, soon.
· Marigold is used as a natural additive in foods for its color. The European Union approved the use of marigolds as a natural food colorant.
· Marigolds are also popular for their nutritional value, especially for their lutein content. Lutein is a carotenoid or a natural pigment. It is similar to Vitamin A and beta-carotene, which are known for their eye-benefiting properties.
Studies are underway to unveil conclusive facts about the benefits of marigold for the eye. Studies are focused on researching the potential of lutein content in marigold in addressing age-related eye deterioration.
· Marigold flower meaning includes a respect for the sacred as well. They are used in garlands prepared for gods in India.
· A superstition linked to marigolds is the use of these flowers as a love charm. It is believed that these flowers were part of rituals performed to attain good fortune in love. They were also used in talismans for the same reason.
· It is believed that placing marigolds under the pillow can stimulate an individual’s psychic abilities.
Best Time to Give Someone Marigold Flowers
Marigolds reflect warmth, joy and positivity. They are also cathartic for grief. Any occasion that is symbolic of these emotions deserves the gentle and profound marigolds.
Given that marigold flower meaning varies with its color, you can choose a flower best suited to the occasion.
· Birthday celebrations in summer
· Apt flowers to place on memorials in remembrance of loved ones
· Religious and spiritual ceremonies
· When wishing someone to attain the best in life
· Prepare fresh bouquets with marigolds. While the bright color makes them an excellent choice, the freshness of early-morning blooms is a complete winner.
For the best results, cut the flowers in the morning and have them rest in water. Remove stems and leaves before dipping the flowers in water to keep them fresh for a long time. Cut marigolds do not lose their freshness for about a week.
Such live marigold bouquets are great for any occasion including birthdays.
· The Mexican marigold is significant in Dia de los Muertos, a Spanish term that translates to the Day of the Dead. This holiday is widely observed in Mexico, and in the United States as well as Latin America (to a lesser extent though).
The day is observed to remove fear attached with death. Marigold flower meaning on this occasion, is associated with its profundity. Marigolds are used to adorn altars of loved ones that have passed away.
Marigolds are a wonderful way to express your love and positivity on this day.
· Marigold garlands are used to honor the dead in India. This could perhaps be due to the fact that marigold flowers and leaves have insect-repelling oils.
If you are visiting India, then you could take marigolds while visiting temples here.
· The lively colors of marigolds make them a great choice as natural decoration on foods. They are used for decorating wedding cakes and celebratory pastries.
Marigolds are rich in beauty, culture, religion and spirituality. Perhaps, there are only a few flowers that are as rich and complete in their meaning as marigolds. The depth associated with marigold flower meaning makes it a special flower and a thoughtful gift on important occasions.