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calendula (kəlĕnˈjələ) [key], any species of the genus Calendula, Old World plants of the family Asteraceae (aster family). The common calendula ( C. officinalis ), an annual with yellow to deep orange flower heads produced through a long blooming season, was a popular garden flower in Shakespeare's time—his "marigold." Its dried florets have been used as a food coloring and for flavoring stews and soups (whence the name pot marigold) and have also long been used medicinally. Calendula is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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