Are Marigolds Edible: Edible Varieties Listed!

Are Marigolds Edible_ Edible Varieties Listed!
There are several edible marigold cultivars; however, some cultivars are to be avoided. Edible marigold varieties include T. tenuifolia, Calendula Officinalis, C. arvensis, T. erecta, T. lucida, T. Patula.

For thousands of years, humans have loved experimenting with edible flowers in cooking. But, not all flowers are edible. Violets and lavender were popular additions to Roman cuisine, whereas the Chinese have used edible flowers since 3,000 B.C.E.

Times haven’t changed, with many expensive restaurants adding petals to their meals, providing a touch of flavor and class.

Food lovers across the globe are now adding flowers, like marigolds, to their dishes. With many more edible plants in your garden than you probably realize, you can too.

Edible marigold cultivars are one of these more popular edible blooms. Check out the below article if you want to know all about edible marigold flowers.

Are All Types of Marigolds Edible?

Marigold flowers usually sporting a bright orange color are generally edible. The edible varieties include:

  • Lemon or signet (T. tenuifolia)
  • Pot or common (Calendula officinalis)
  • Field (C. arvensis)
  • Mexican, African, or Aztec (Tagetes erecta)
  • Mexican mint (T. lucida)
  • French (T. patula)

African marigolds (Tagetes erecta) and French marigolds (Tagetes patula) are officially edible but not as pleasant in taste.

Be careful when consuming the Tagetes species, as they aren’t always safe to eat. Check the seed packet or your local farmer before consuming.

Calendula officinalis, pot marigold
Calendula officinalis, pot marigold

What Parts of Marigolds are Edible?

The marigold flower’s center, tiny petals, and leaves are edible.

Whether you eat them fresh or dry, raw or blanched, or sweet or savory, they’re usually edible.

What do Edible Marigolds Taste Like?

The taste of marigolds varies depending on the variety. For example, the marigolds sporting bright orange flowers are mild in flavor. But. their edible marigold leaves are more peppery in taste.

The flowers and leaves often have a citrus taste, making them an ideal addition to salads, sandwiches, seafood dishes, or hot desserts.

Before consuming or adding edible marigolds to any dish, remove the white (or sometimes pale green ‘heels’) at the base of the petals. They are bitter in taste.

Tagetes tenuifolia, signet marigolds
Tagetes tenuifolia, signet marigolds

How do you Cook Marigold Leaves?

Most often, edible flowers like marigolds are added to salads as a topper or as a dessert or sandwich garnish. But the options are vast.

To prepare your marigolds for cooking in stews, soups, and puddings, follow these steps:

  • Pull all of the petals from the stem.
  • Hold the petals firmly in your hand and cut off the white. There may be pale greenish ‘heels’ underneath, as they are bitter.
  • Always ensure the leaves are in good condition and lacking insect damage.
  • Rinse them in water, wrap them in a paper towel, and pop them in a plastic bag in the fridge if you’re not going to use them immediately.
  • Add the washed flowers to soups, stir-fries, and hot dishes to simmer and cook with enough time for the flowers to soften.

Can You Make Marigold Tea?

Calendula, otherwise known by its traditional name, pot marigold, can be used as a form of tea. Or, if you’d prefer, you can use marigold flower petals as an ingredient in various herbal infusions.

All you need to do to make the marigold tea is steep the flower in boiling water.

Tagetes lucida, Mexican marigold
Tagetes lucida, Mexican marigold

What Part of the Marigold Do You Use for Tea?

To make marigold tea, both the green leaves and the flowers are used as the extract for the tea.

How do you Dry Marigold Flowers for Tea?

No fancy prep or equipment is needed to dry out marigold flowers. Follow these easy steps:

  • Spread the flowers on a dishtowel, paper towel, or newspaper. Do this in a dry indoor place away from full sun.
  • Ensure you turn the flowers regularly.
  • Check when the flowers are dry enough to turn crispy.
  • Then remove the petals and store them for tea.

What is Marigold Tea Good for?

The ancient Greeks wouldn’t have been fans of marigold tea if it didn’t have so many uses. When drunk three times a day, marigold tea can:

  • Alleviate cramps
  • Aid digestion
  • Relieve menstrual discomfort, nausea, and stomach ulcers
  • Relieve headaches and insomnia (when used as a tincture)

By querying what other uses marigold flowers have, other than ‘are marigolds edible,’ you can find more uses for your marigold flowers.

Being one of the oldest cultivated flowers, marigold petals were a popular choice for coloring food, such as soups, stews, and puddings the ancient Greeks. They also used it in make-up, medicine, and dying fabrics.

But, marigold flowers also have numerous other uses. They make superb bedfellows (companion plants) in vegetable gardens. They also repel nematodes and insects.

How do you Use Marigolds in Food?

Before adding marigolds to your food, remember that they may be harmful in copious amounts. Only eat both in moderation and occasionally, and always rinse off dirt and insects.

Now you’ve answered can you eat marigolds, you can figure out how to use them. Marigolds have many culinary uses.

For example, their flowers and leaves generally have a citrusy taste, making them ideal for adding to salads, sandwiches, seafood dishes, or hot desserts.

Marigold petals are also a perfect addition to herbal infusions, eyewashes, and topical solutions.


Ana has always been interested in all things nature and flora. With her expertise in home gardening and interest in foraging, she has been spending her weekends and free time looking for edible native plants, flowers, and fungi. One of her many hobbies includes testing new savory and sweet recipes, juices or teas made from freshly picked plants, wild fruits, or mushrooms.

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