The Calendula Mystery

I've grown calendula in my herb garden for a few years, but I've never seen this crazy thing before.

My plant was broken, probably by one of the dogs, during the summer. I babied it, hoping it would recover. It did, and it did eventually bloom, but it took a long time. One single, kind of ugly flower during the late summer.

I took a photograph of it for this post. Did you notice those crazy things growing around the flower and even up through the middle?

I've never seen that before. In the past my flowers have looked like these photos above, you know, like "real flowers".

I kept an eye on it because it was so strange. In this picture, it looks like some kind of alien plant from a science fiction movie.

Those things did turn into buds, and then into blooms. A halo of blossoms around the original flower. The flower stalks all formed out of the bottom of the flower.

This plant must have grown from a mutant seed or something. Have you ever seen such a thing?

You might also enjoy:
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The Herb Garden in Late September
Ten Ways to Use Basil
How to Dry Homegrown Herbs
DIY Cayenne Pepper Powder
Harvesting the Herb Garden
The Herb Garden in Early Fall

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. No, but it does look really neat!


  2. How interesting. All of your blooms came on one flower! The calendula seeds that I planted have grown at different paces. Some started blooming early in the summer. One took forever to germinate and grow--it had its first flower a couple weeks ago.

    1. Carol, maybe it was just a strange year for calendula? I'm glad you finally had some flowers.

  3. Anonymous12:51 PM

    Looks like thrip damage to me.

  4. It really is such a lovely plant. I planted this a few months back, and it's just now coming up. Curious to see what it looks like, as we've never grown it before.
    Thanks for sharing this on The Maple Hill Hop!

  5. Thank you, Daisy. There are two more buds on this plant now and I'm curious to see if the flowers will do the same thing. As well as being a pretty flower (except perhaps this one), the petals are medicinal too.

  6. Isn't that neat?? I wonder if being damaged somehow encouraged it to blossom this way.

  7. Jamie, I've wondered that too.

  8. Anonymous, I will have to look up thrips; thank you for the tip.

  9. Wow, what an interesting progression of the flower. It just shows how hearty they are. Calendulas are one of the few things that cows don't eat, so there are lots around the edge of our garden--until calves show up, they eat everything!

  10. Betty, I didn't know that cows won't eat calendula - calves must be like goats, they eat everything too!

  11. I didn't know about that, thanks for sharing your information to Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning.

  12. I love the little spider that did a "photo bomb" in the first picture in your post. :)
    Thanks for sharing at My Flagstaff Home!


  13. I'm rather fond of it too, Jennifer. :-)

  14. That is really cool! I have never seen Calendula do this!

    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. I hope you'll join us again this week!


  15. I haven't grown them but from what I've seen this is unusual. They usually grow on a long stem with a single flower....unless what I have been thinking is Calendula is really not. I'm glad you took pictures because that would have been hard to explain!

    1. It's indescribable, for sure! I saved some of the seeds from that flower, but they grew normally the next year. Thank you, Jean.

  16. I have a calendula that is doing this right now! It wasn't damaged, and I didn't see any thrips on them (but they are on my tomatoes). All the others are normal, but this is bizarre... and kind of amazing. Good to know I'm not the only one with mutant calendula! :)

    1. Isn't that the strangest thing?? I planted some of those seeds the next spring but they didn't live long enough to flower. I was very curious to see if they would bloom "normally" or would do the same thing. I hope you can save seeds, plant them and let me know what happens!


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