A Mediterranean annual plant (Calendula officinalis) in the composite family, widely cultivated for its showy, yellow or orange, rayed flower heads that are used in cosmetics and skin care products. Formerly, the flower heads were used in medicine and as a coloring in butter and other foods. Also called pot marigold.
[New Latin Calendula, genus name, from Medieval Latin calendula, calendula, probably diminutive (formed with Latin -ula, feminine of -ulus, diminutive suffix) of calendae, calends (the plant being so called because it flowers continuously over many calends or months), from Latin kalendae; see CALENDS. Alternatively Medieval Latin calendula, perhaps alteration (influenced by kalendae) of Late Latin calthula, diminutive of Latin caltha, calendula, probably of Mediterranean substrate origin.]
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