What Does Calendula Smell Like?

If you are looking for flowers with traditional aromas for a fragrance garden, don't plant calendula (Calendula officinalis), commonly known as pot marigold. That annual sprouts fast and lasts all summer. Its flowers don't carry a lusciously honeyed scent but rather have an aroma similar to that of tree sap.

marigold flower background
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Calendula flowers have a scent unlike other summer annuals' scent.

Fragrant Leaves and Blossoms

Calendula is an Old World potherb, popular in William Shakespeare's England. Its flowers and lance-shaped leaves are edible, offering a slight bitter flavor to soups and salads. The leaves are fragrant, and the flowers have a sweet, resinlike aroma. When calendula is planted in a vegetable garden, it reportedly deters insect pests.

Bright, Simple-Care Plant

The same paint used to color a sunset can be used for the flowers of calendula. The small plant blooms from May to June and grows in clumps that can become 2 feet high and spread 2 feet wide. Calendula grows in direct sunlight or partial shade, blooms generously and has no serious diseases or pests.


Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler

From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. A professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler has written about home and garden for Gardening Know How, San Francisco Chronicle, Gardening Guide and Go Banking Rates. She earned a BA from U.C. Santa Cruz, a law degree from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France.