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  • Writer's pictureKate

Marigolds! And when not to eat them...

We may have cheated a teeny bit here buying lovely big plug plants... but some of the Crow Wood bunch needed to do shopping and Aldi had such nice marigolds Looking At Us, so we got some of them for the allotment...

There are two types of plant called "marigolds", confusingly. One is the Tagetes genus- the French and African marigolds, which apparently has broadly edible flowers but can cause poisoning if eaten in large amounts; the other is the Calendula genus, with calendula officinalis known as pot marigold as the flowers have been traditionally used in cooking- particularly to colour stews, butter and cheeses.

The flowers above are tagetes marigolds which are recommended companion plants for many vegetables (you can't see the baby onions grown from seed in the photo- but they're there on the back half of the border, and we're waiting for the rest of the seeds to come up!). Calendula marigolds are also recommended companion plants- and the petals make salads look fantastic- but ours aren't growing this year, despite self seeding everywhere for the past few years- boo!

Here is an interesting table of edible flowers from Thompson and Morgan- we obviously can take no responsibility for the contents of their site, but we think it's a very interesting read- and in general, it's amazing how many more things are edible than you might think- though with the caveat that some varieties of some plants may be less edible than others, and that different people react differently to eating the same plant.

Now we're off to eat some borage flowers- they're so lovely and blue and sweet in the middle!

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