Now that Fall is officially is in full swing, it’s no surprise that October’s birth flower, the vibrant Marigold, is a colorful reminder of Mother’s Natural flamboyant side this time of year. Echoing colors that summer has never seen with its warm yet fierce coloration, the marigold perfectly sums up the fiery hues that are often associated with October in its various shades of melting yellow and burnt orange. Today, in honor of all the October birthdays, we’re sharing just a few tidbits and fun facts about this buttery bloom.
Traditionally, the marigold originally symbolized one’s grief and despair over a departed loved one. And while one might question why such a jovial flower would be associated with the dead, it’s the marigolds brightly colored blossoms that light the path for the departed souls of their beloved. However, because it’s coloring always remains intense, it's no surprise it reflects passion and creativity.
Today, the marigold often represents a sense of optimism and prosperity, which is why it's often depicted as the rising sun as they offer a sense of beauty and warmth. And while its most popular shade is a fiery orange, marigolds also come in a variety of other colors including white, gold, and yellow.
There are two different types of marigolds; tagetes and calendulas, the latter of which can actually be consumed and has been used as an herbal remedy for minor scrapes throughout several cultures while the former remains toxic. Calendulas are often a go-to for chefs looking to use a stylish garnish to help accentuate soups, salads, and other meals.
The first record of marigold cultivation began as far back as the Aztecs who believed its bright color to possess magical powers. It wasn’t until the Spanish conquistadors took these flowers back to the Spanish monasteries where they would eventually flourish and adapt in its new home.
Now native to the Mediterranean, marigolds have an extensive background throughout history; from the Ancient Greeks and Roman to the Asian and Middle Eastern cultures, each has harvested the marigold for medicinal remedies, dying textiles, creating cosmetics, and even seasoning culinary concoctions.
In Medieval England, the marigold was often brewed and consumed to help treat those affected by the plague while in Asia marigolds are still used today in long-strewn garlands to decorate religious ceremonies including weddings and funerals. Even Mexico’s famous Dia de los Muerto celebration, countless of marigold garlands are displayed throughout elaborate (home and grave) alters to help guide the spirits of the dead with the help of their strong scent and vibrant blooms.
If you’re in need of a natural insect repellent, marigolds are a great way to keep mosquitos and other aphids at bay from your home, gardens, and exposed limbs.
For more inspiration head over to our Pinterest Board dedicated to October’s birth flower.
Please note all imagery featured is purely inspiration and not a product of Nearly Natural.