Sunday, October 30, 2016

Plant Story--Marigolds from the Americas

So, who are the marigolds, genus Tagetes?

marigolds, Tagetes
marigolds, Tagetes
The previous post (link) was about calendulas, called marigolds, now more properly called pot marigolds, important plants through much of European history. In the 1500s, a different group of flowers, species of the genus Tagetes (sunflower family, Asteraceae) were introduced to the Old World from the Americas. People loved them, called them marigolds and presently they became the plants people recognized as marigolds, not the Eurasian calendulas.

Marigolds, Tagetes, were not wildflowers when they were brought to Europe (by 1520). The Aztecs and other Native American groups had been growing them for centuries.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Plant Story--Marigolds in History-- Pot Marigolds (Calendulas)

marigolds, Bali
marigolds, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Marigolds and calendulas are mixed up in the literature (previous post). Both are plants with yellow to orange flowers in the sunflower family, Asteraceae. Calendulas, Calendula officialis, are from southern Europe or the Near East, and over the last 1000 years were called marigolds or pot marigolds in the European literature. Marigolds, species of Tagetes, are native to the New World and were introduced to the Old World in the 1500s. Lacking English names originally, they were initially called French marigold (Tagetes patula) and African marigold (Tagetes erecta) in England. Today the Tagetes species are generally called marigolds and the calendulas (pot marigolds) are much less well known.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Plant Confusion -- Marigolds and Calendulas

The marigold has conquered the world. Marigolds are common enough that we don’t pay them much attention. Look: marigolds in Bali:

marigolds, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

and Taiwan
marigolds, Taipei, Taiwan
marigolds, Taipei, Taiwan
In Asia, they are very much loved...and a long way from home.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Visiting Japan--Gardens, Plants, Contrasts

Japan! I loved the contrasts

Medieval fortresses:
Himeji Castle, Japan
historic Himeji Castle
to futuristic buildings

Mikimoto main store, Ginza, Tokyo
Mikimoto main store, Ginza, Tokyo