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Amber – Vulnerable and Near-Threatened
Best Time to See
In flower June to October
Most often found as an arable weed, but it can also be found on other disturbed sites such as rubbish tips, road verges, waste ground and even over-grazed pasture.
Although the bright yellow flowers of the corn marigold were once abundant in cornfields throughout Britain, it is not a true native, but was probably introduced in ancient times with grain. Its original home is probably western Asia and the area of the Mediterranean. Since it has been found in, but no earlier than, Scottish neolithic deposits, it probably arrived with the neolithic introduction of agriculture.
How to spot it
Of medium height, the flowers, which are golden-yellow discs with prominent ray florets, are borne singly on the ends of the stems. The leaves are deeply toothed, slightly fleshy, lobed, hairless and covered with a waxy layer that gives them a greenish blue-grey colour.
How’s it doing?
It was a serious weed in Victorian times, but is now much reduced due to improved seed cleaning, liming, herbicides and the shift to autumn-sown crops. Much of this decline has taken place since 1930.
Did you know?
It is a good plant for bees, butterflies and moths, and is the food plant of the Chamomile Shark Moth. In the east the young shoots are eaten as a vegetable, particularly in China. It was a familiar sight in 16th Century English gardens.
Common names often refer to the colour (gold, golden cornflower, golden daisy, sunflower, yellow bottle, yellow horse daisy, yellow moons and yellow ox-eye) but also include some rather curious names like boodle, bozel, bozzom and buddle.
In his 1640 Theatrum Botanicum, John Parkinson described the use of corn marigold into midsummer garlands and hung up on houses.
There are plenty of associated Anglo-Saxon place-names such as Goldhanger in Essex, Goldor in Oxfordshire, Golding in Shropshire, Goltho in Lincolnshire and Gowdall in the West Riding.
Grigson remarks on not only the charming green and yellow of corn marigold but also ‘the oddly attractive scent of the flowers’.
SHOP FOR Corn marigold
A beautiful mix of native wildflowers that is perfect for pollinators and the most hardy of our wildflower mixes. Urban Meadow is a colour combination of annuals and perennials developed in collaboration with River of Flowers – a fantastic and inspiring organisation working to create and connect urban meadows across the globe. Each seed ball contains approximately 30 seeds from a mix of Common toadflax, Cornflower, Cowslip, Meadow cranesbill, Musk mallow, Oxeye daisy and Red campion, plus a sprinkling of pollinator-friendly annuals Chamomile, Cornflower, Corn marigold, and Night-flowering catchfly. See Full Listing.
Created in collaboration with scientists at the Natural History Museum to help garden bats. Many of our British bat species are in decline, faced with less roosting places and declining food availability. They have massive appetites, and a tiny Pipistrelle bat alone can eat over 3,000 mosquitoes a night! See Full Listing.
Our Bird Mix is designed to feed the birds for you, and is a much more sustainable option to buying bagged bird feed! The careful selection of plants will boost the food supply for a wide range of birds including goldfinches, blue tits, chaffinches, greenfinches, robins, starlings, increasing the number of birds seen in your garden. Whilst in bloom the flowers will attract insects that many birds feed on, while birds will also feed directly on the plants and seeds themselves. See Full Listing.
A mix of native wildflowers that are perfect for butterflies! This lovely collection of mostly purple, pink and blue flowers is designed to attract butterflies to our gardens, balconies and window boxes and uses only flowers recommended by Butterfly Conservation. Each seed ball contains approximately 30 seeds from a mix of Purple Loosestrife, Forget-me-not, Musk mallow, Red campion and Yarrow, plus a sprinkling of pollinator-friendly annuals Chamomile, Cornflower, Corn marigold, and Night-flowering catchfly. See Full Listing.
A mix of native wildflowers that bees will just love! This carefully selected mix is designed specifically to attract solitary bees, honey bees and bumblebees. Each seed ball contains approximately 30 seeds from a mix of Birdsfoot Trefoil, Foxglove, Red Clover, Viper’s Bugloss and Wild Marjoram – all recommended as bee-friendly plants by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. We’ve also added a sprinkling of pollinator-friendly annuals Chamomile, Cornflower, Corn marigold, and Night-flowering catchfly. See Full Listing.