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MarigoldIn early November 1970, a group of Soviet botanists examined the ruins of the Zvartnots temple in Armenia. Winter was approaching, all the vegetation faded, and all the flowers were long gone.

Only one curtain stood out against the general background of decay and destruction. She bloomed violently, joyfully, as if the approach of cold weather did not concern her.

MarigoldBotanists were surprised at such a late flowering. We came closer and saw a completely unknown plant in front of us. Even an academician who was with botanists and knew by heart all the plant species of the Soviet Union, found it difficult to immediately name the mysterious creature. Then, already at home, they determined: small marigolds - a weed from Chile, a brother of those cheerful garden flowers that delight the eye in flower beds from mid-summer to autumn. And until the very winter.

True, the Chilean marigolds did not have such large and bright baskets as their counterparts from the flower bed. They did not burn with polished bronze under the rays of the sun. Their baskets were smaller, but more numerous. How and when they got to us in the Caucasus, no one knows. But it probably wasn't difficult. At home, they line railways, highways and ordinary country roads and grow to such a height that passengers getting off the train at small stations are completely lost in their dense thickets. They are taller than a person there.

Having discovered an unknown plant, the botanists were very happy. Of the 26 species of this genus, only two lived in our country - those in the flower beds. Now a third has been added. Although he is a weed and not very beautiful, they hope to get benefits from him too. And considerable.

The fact is that our garden marigolds attract attention not only with their cheerful and optimistic look. It is beneficial to plant vegetables next to them.

They talk about a gardener. He grew potatoes on the site of a former flower garden. When the time came for weeding, he wanted to remove the weeds, but noticed the shoots of marigolds. He felt sorry for the pretty flowers to survive. “I’ll leave,” he decided, “you think I’ll lose a few sacks of potatoes. But how beautiful it will be! " And left. Bronze baskets harmonized nicely with white and purple bunches of potato flowers.

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However, when it was time to harvest in the fall, he did not have enough containers. The neighbors, on the other hand, collected little. They had a parasitic worm in their fields - a nematode. The flower lover had almost no nematode. The neighborhood of marigolds turned out to be out of place for the parasites.

MarigoldIndian scientists from the Institute of Potatoes in the city of Simla also became interested in marigolds. They picked up a field where potatoes were planted for 20 years in a row and a lot of nematodes were bred. We sowed anti-nematode flowers. For the first time in many years, an excellent harvest of potatoes has matured and survived.

In Mexico, residents decorate their homes with these flowers every year on November 2, when they celebrate their parent's day. Wreaths are hung over the entrance to the house and in the rooms. The wreaths gradually dry up, dust falls, and with it the seeds. All litter is swept out into the street, and new generations of cheerful plants populate the household plots. There is growing corn and various vegetables. During weeding, all the weeds are removed, but no one dares to pull out the marigold. It is called the Flower of the Dead. The ritual is very strict. However, they have some benefit from this. Corn grows taller and produces a larger crop.

And in Africa, marigolds also hang in bouquets in huts. And not for one parent's day, but every day. This event is held not so much for the sake of beauty as as a remedy against flies that annoy the inhabitants of the huts. And it seems to help a lot. Otherwise they would not have hung!

The Mexican Indians found the most prosaic application for these merry creatures.Where wood is not good enough, these marigolds sometimes serve as the only fuel for cooking dinner or melting the hearth in cold weather. In this case, huge heavy armfuls of long stems are prepared in advance, like brushwood. They are folded into heaps and used as needed. Marigold burns hot because it contains a lot of essential oils. As soon as the leaf is rubbed, the aroma is immediately clearly audible.

Marigolds for dinner

The scent also goes into action. In our Union, on the basis of marigold essential oils, a cologne "Moonstone" and an excellent perfume "Tenderness" are created, which are liked by many. And in Georgian cuisine these flowers play a very prominent role. In addition to the aroma, they supply the dishes with vitamins A, B and C. And some food lovers say: "What kind of dinner is there without marigolds?"

A. Smirnov. Tops and roots


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