Calendula Calendula officinalis
CALENDULA petals have a very mild, slightly tangy flavour and create a delightful gold dust effect sprinkled over salads.
We use the common yellow-petalled variety, which has ancient culinary and medicinal uses. There are also named single and double varieties in in all shades of orange and yellow, although they tend to revert after a few seasons.
Calendula officinalis grows best in well-drained soil in sun or light shade. Plants dislike hot summers or hard frosts, but self-seed readily.
Care is easy – just pinch out the growing tips for better branching, and dead-head from time to time to extend flowering.
To use, pick a couple of flowers and stand in water. Just before serving, pluck the petals and scatter them over the dish for a sprinkle of bright gold.