Calendula is a flower that contains about 20 different variations of annual and perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family (Asteraceae) that are often known by their common name of marigold. They are native to southwestern Asia, western Europe and the Mediterranean. Other plants are also known as marigolds, such as corn marigold, desert marigold, marsh marigold, and plants of the genus Tagetes. The genus name Calendula is a modern Latin diminutive of calendae, meaning “little calendar”. The most commonly cultivated and used member of the genus is the pot marigold (Calendula officinalis). Popular herbal and cosmetic products named ‘calendula’ invariably derive from C. officinalis.
The flower is loved for its beauty, but also for its broad medicinal use, and Calendula Oil is known for its healing properties, and is used as an anti-inflammatory, and is used for treating acne, wounds and other skin conditions. It also has been broadly used for treating abdominal issues like cramps, bloating and constipation. The oil is also used to make Calendula salve, Calendula cream, Calendula balm and other applications.
The Sunflower, or Helianthus, is a genus of plants with about 70 species and resides in the family Asteraceae. It is know for its vibrant beauty and striking colors, along with its symmetry. All sunflowers are native to North America, with the exception of 3 species that reside within South America. The domesticated sunflower, also know as H. annus, is the most familiar and popular of the species, and is an annual. There are perennial versions of sunflowers, but they are quite invasive, and grow rapidly do to the high amount of seeds the flower heads produce. Sunflowers can be quite tall, up to 10 ft, and bear one or more flower heads of varying colors (Yellow, Red, Chocolate, mixed, etc.).
The heads produce a large number of seeds that are harvested as food, or can be processed for their oil.
Dahlia is a perennial plant native to Mexico; bushy, tuberous, herbaceous and revered for their amazing beauty. A member of the Asteraceae (or Compositae), dicotyledonous plants, related species include the Sunflower, Daisy, Chrysanthemum, and Zinnia. There are 42 species of dahlia, with hybrids commonly grown as garden plants. Flower forms are variable, with one head per stem; these can be as small as 2″/5cm in diameter or up to 12″/ 30cm (The dinner plate variety).
Dahlias grow naturally in climates which are frost free (USDA Zone 8), and they are not adapted to withstand below freezing temperatures. But their tuberous nature enables them to survive long periods of dormancy. This characteristic means that gardeners in temperate climates with frosts can grow dahlias successfully, as long as the tubers are extracted from the ground and then stored over the winter in a frost-free environment. Planting the tubers quite deep can also provide frost protection. When in growth season, modern dahlia hybrids require free-draining soil, and thrive in maximum sunlight. Taller cultivars typically require some form of staking as they grow, and all garden dahlias need deadheading regularly, once flowering commences, to continue blooming throughout the entire season.
Hydrangea is a genus of 70+ species of beautiful flowering plants native to southern and eastern Asia and the
Americas. The greatest species diversity is in eastern Asia, notably China, Japan, and Korea. Most are shrubs 3 – 9 feet tall, but some are small trees. They can be either deciduous or evergreen, though the widely cultivated temperate species are all deciduous.
Hydrangea flowersare produced from early spring to late autumn; they grow beautiful, large flower heads, usually at the end of producing stems. Typically the flower heads contain two types of flowers: small non-showy flowers in the center or interior of the flower head, and large, showy flowers with large colorful sepals (tepals). These showy flowers are often extended in a ring, or to the exterior of the small flowers. Plants in wild populations typically have few to none of the showy flowers, while cultivated hydrangeas have been bred and selected to have more of the larger type flowers.
There are two flower types in hydrangeas, which includes the commonly grown “bigleaf hydrangea”—Hydrangea macrophylla. Mophead flowers are large round flower heads resembling pom-poms. In contrast, lacecap flowers bear round, flat flower heads with a center core of small flowers surrounded by outer rings of larger flowers having showy sepals or tepals.