Marigold petals comes from ornamental marigold, Calendula officinalis. Marigold is originally native to southern Europe, but is naturalised throughout the temperate more notherly regions as well. Marigold leaves are oblong-lanceolate and grow 5-17cm in length, and are hairy on both sides.
Marigold flowers are yellow and 4-7cm in diameter and comprise a ring of ray florets. Marigold petals are delicately floral, with a peppery bitterness. Fresh marigold petals can be used in salads or to add a dash of colour via a garnish to dishes, especially vegetables.
Marigold petals are wonderful, bright orange petals and are edible herbs that can be used in a myriad of ways to add a dash of brightness to your food. From scattering over salads, rice dishes, quinoa and couscous to a garnish on a whole host of other dishes. Do not cook them as you will lose the intensity of the colour.