Germination and emergence of twenty-five Calendula officinalis cultivars

M. Intervera, D.C. Scown, P. Cherry
Calendula officinalis (Asteraceae) is endemic to a wide area from southern Europe to North Africa. Calendula has been used as a medicinal herb since Egyptian times with records showing use by the Greeks and Romans. Jurlique operates its own certified organic and biodynamic farm in South Australia. This farm grows medicinal herbs and harvests plant material for use in its natural skin care range. This study evaluated C. officinalis cultivars for germination and emergence. C. officinalis has over 100 named cultivars and this study involved 24 cultivars obtained commercially and an heirloom cultivar used by Jurlique. The study showed that ten cultivars had germination rates over 80% which would be acceptable for commercialisation; the highest being 'Princess Orange' at 93% and lowest being 'Solis Sponsa' at 17%. The trial also observed true leaf emergence 46 days after planting, with five cultivars obtaining true leaf emergence over 80%. 'Princess Orange' had the highest emergence rate of 93%, followed by 'Oktoberfest' 89%, 'Costa Orange' 81%, 'Gold Star' 80% and 'Red Orange' 80%. All the 25 cultivars of C. officinalis will be evaluated at the farm in a field trial to establish growth rates and yield for each variety with the view of commercialising new Calendula cultivars for the medicinal herb industry in Australia.
Intervera, M., Scown, D.C. and Cherry, P. (2016). Germination and emergence of twenty-five Calendula officinalis cultivars. Acta Hortic. 1125, 293-296
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1125.37
medicinal herbs, Jurlique Calendula officinalis, propagation

Acta Horticulturae