Fresh look for an old marigold

A charming old calendula is refreshed and revived

For many years ‘Kablouna’ was the only anemone-centred calendula available. At its best it was a beautiful thing, with tight clusters of short fluted petals in the centre of the flower giving it a unique look. Lovely in the border, lovely in the vase.

Calendula 'Kinglet Mixed'But in recent years it’s been disappointing, with very few plants coming true to type and far more ordinary single-flowered types taking over. The company producing the seed had given up making sure that it was 100% true to type and I gave up growing it years ago.

But now this form has been re-created as Dutch breeders have been working away reviving this invaluable type and it’s finally released this autumn. Calendula ‘Kinglet Mixed’ comes in equal parts of apricot, deep lemon yellow (sometimes with almost white outer petals) and rich orange. Two or three rows of long petals surround a tight pincushion of shorter petals making a crested dome in the centre.

Reaching about 45cm in height, and well branched, ‘Kinglet Mixed’ makes an ideal – and long lasting – cut flower and an appealing hardy border annual. It’s named for a North American bird that’s rather like a goldcrest.

Sow outside in September for the earliest flowers, or wait until spring. I’ve got mine in already.

You can order seed of Calendula ‘Kinglet Mixed’ from Johnsons, Kings and from Plants of Distinction.
Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author, which are not necessarily those of the RHS.

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