The birth flower for October, with a vibrant hue that instantly conjures autumnal thoughts – there’s no better stem to feature as our Flower of the Month than the marigold (also known as the calendula stem).
A brief history
Despite being native to the Mediterranean, the marigold was first recorded by the Aztecs, who were firm believers that the striking tangerine-hued stem possessed magical properties. With this in mind, Spanish conquistadors took marigold stems back to Spain with them, where they were grown in monasteries before spreading across Europe, and of course the rest of the world.
Throughout history, marigolds have been widely known for three main uses: as dyes thanks to their vibrant colour, as culinary ingredients (yes, some are edible, too), and for their health properties. While in Mexico and Latin America, they’re widely used as a decoration for All Saints Day, and in India they’re a sacred flower used to decorate statues of Hindu deities, and worn as garlands by the bride and groom at wedding ceremonies. Each year a traditional marigold harvest happens in India, that sees thousands of gloriously golden orange flower heads picked and gathered for such occasions.
As part of the Asteraceae daisy family, marigolds are in good company with sunflowers, asters and daisies amongst their ranks. And thanks to their ability to bloom brightly from spring through to autumn, the marigold has become a most popular stem that brings a wealth of gold, copper, and brass into our homes and gardens each year.
The language of flowers
With their intense colour, it’s no wonder marigolds are symbolic of both of passion and creativity. They’ve long been considered a gesture of loyalty and elegance, too. So if you’re looking to send a stem that screams devotion, marigolds are your go-to. And as the birth flower for October – synonymous with the warm personalities of those born during this month – they make for a fine birthday bouquet.