Plants of Gold
Marigolds are some of our flower gardens most trusted flowers. They bloom plentifully, have strong sturdy stems, and are even deer and rabbit repellent. But what secrets do these beautiful flowers hold beyond their resilience and beauty? It may come as a surprise but the Marigold has a shockingly long and interesting history.
Marigolds were first recorded a long, long ways back. All the way back to the Aztecs, and that is no exaggeration. Aztecs used to believe that the Marigolds were both magical and carried medical healing abilities. Now of course we know that Marigolds aren’t magical or a major medical contributors. But is does prove that Marigolds have been around for a very long time. According to online sources the first recorded use of marigolds is in the De La Crus-Badiano Aztec Herbal of 1552, a herbal record. Hilariously some of the recorded uses of Marigold magical medicine included treatment of hiccups, being struck by lightning, and “for one who wishes to cross a river or water safely”. Let’s hope that last one actually worked out for the people who tried it!
Marigolds first started being seeded in Spain, then France, and finally Africa where tall Marigolds were naturalized in North Africa giving us what we call African Marigolds. In Mexico Marigolds are used to celebrate All Saints day and the All Souls days. And in Hindu religious ceremonies they were used to make flower garlands. Marigolds have touched many cultures and religions for hundreds of years, from the Aztecs to the modern day gardener. And after their great travels from the Americas to Europe to Africa, they made their way back to American soils, literally.
Marigolds have never lost their popularity, with having such vibrantly coloured blooms and their resilience to so many of our Manitoba struggles. They are sun loving, easy care, sturdy, beautiful, and not to mention their horrible taste that keeps the deer and rabbits away. Needless to say I think we can agree these flowers are gold! So if ever you are struggling to have flowers in a yard where animals keep eating your plants, or you are simply looking for a brilliant pop of colour with some good height, take my advice. Try the flower that is truly gold!