We continue the story about the plants growing on the beds of the Red Garden Bosquet in the Summer Garden.

Today we will talk about an annual plant, which is familiar to everyone from childhood – these are marigolds. In scientific literature, this plant is called Calendula officinalis L. This is how Carl Linnaeus named it, using the 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 blooming plants can be found on the first day of any month. Marigold this plant was named for the seeds that look like marigolds, or even claws.

Calendula has been used since antiquity 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 “the spice for the poor”. The petals of this plant were widely used and are still used today as a food coloring. For coloring cheeses, drinks, soups, pates. In England, young seed baskets were pickled and used as a spicy snack.

In Russia, marigolds appear in the 17th century and are grown as a medicinal and spice 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 grown constantly. Later, marigolds returned to the 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. Do not forget to look into the Red Garden and surprise your companions with information about common marigolds.

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