We continue the story about the plants growing on the beds of the bosquet Red Garden of the Summer Garden.
Today we’ll talk about an annual plant that everyone has known since childhood – these are marigolds. In the scientific literature, this plant is called Calendula officinalis L. This is what Carl Linnaeus called it, using names that were used by the Romans. The origin of the name comes from the Latin word ‘calendae’, which means the first day of the month. In southern Europe, calendula blooms all year round, so on the first day of any month you can find flowering plants. This plant was named marigolds for seeds that look like marigolds, or even claws.

Calendula has been used since ancient times as a medicinal and aromatic plant. Until the beginning of the 20th century, reed flowers of calendula were used as a substitute for saffron. Therefore, calendula was also called “spice for the poor.” The petals of this plant were widely used and are still used as food coloring. For coloring cheeses, drinks, soups, pâtés. In England, young seed pods were pickled and used as a spicy snack.

In Russia, marigolds appear in the 17th century and are grown as a medicinal and spicy plant. From Moscow gardens, calendula seeds are brought to the Summer Garden of St. Petersburg. In the gardens of the Imperial Summer Gardens, calendula was constantly grown. Later, marigolds return to gardens as an ornamental plant, which was used to decorate flower beds for the summer.

Enjoy your walks in the gardens of the Russian Museum. Don’t forget to look into the Red Garden and surprise your companions with information about common marigolds.