As I mentioned in my post, Solstice, my calendula plants didn’t make it through the winter freeze this year. I was intending to plant seeds this Spring to begin again. However, while hand weeding, I noticed several calendula starts already. Last summer, once I gathered enough seeds from the plants, I just scattered any additional seeds around the bed. I had wanted to encourage more plants, but also wondered if they would survive the winter. What a delight to see their tru-leaves now. Calendula seeds remind me of little crescents and it’s been fun to see the seed remnants on the new leaves.
I didn’t know much about calendula before a few years ago when I interned at a Children’s Garden. Did you know that the previously, accepted treatment for burns was to use butter? No longer, because the butter just traps the heat in, intensifying the burn instead of healing. However, I learned the reason why butter used to be put on burns. Previously, calendula was used as the dye in butter to make it appear yellow. Calendula is an excellent treatment for healing the skin after a first degree burn. (After following the Red Cross’ First Aid guidelines, cool the first degree burn by running cool water over it, making sure it’s clean and dry. Then apply calendula oil or salve to the area. I don’t know about using this for a second or third degree burns – best to consult your medical practitioner before using it for those.) So that’s why people used to put butter on burns – not because the butter helped, but because the calendula did.