Lemon Star Gem Marigold Flowers
Inventory, 100 ct : 0
Lemon Star Gem marigolds are small blooms, averaging 1 to 3 centimeters in diameter, and grow upright, attached to slender, thin green stems. Each flower generally has five flat, angular petals with squared edges. The petals are bright yellow and bear a crimson to maroon ring in the middle, creating a star-like shape, and surround a yellow center. The surface of petals is also soft, pliable, and delicate with a silky, velvety consistency, and the flowers emit a delicate, citrus-like fragrance. Lemon Star Gem marigolds have a chewy and somewhat dry texture, releasing a floral, peppery flavor with subtle licorice nuances. In addition to the edible flowers, the fern-like, lacy foliage has an aromatic citrus scent and is also edible, containing an herbaceous, green taste.
Lemon Star Gem marigolds are available in the late summer through fall.
Lemon Star Gem marigolds, botanically classified as Tagetes tenuifolia, are bright, bi-colored flowers belonging to the Asteraceae or sunflower family. The tiny blooms are a lesser-known species of marigold and are a part of a single-flower series of signet marigolds valued for their citrus scent and flavor. Lemon Star Gem marigolds are sometimes known as Lemon Star Citrus Gems, Lemon Star Signet marigolds, and Rock Garden marigolds and are distinct in size and appearance from the more common French and African marigold species. The small plants develop a bushy, compact shape, growing between 25 to 30 centimeters in height, and are favored for their long-blooming nature and high flower yields. Lemon Star Gem marigolds are primarily a home garden cultivar sown as an ornamental landscape plant. The aromatic flowers and foliage are also utilized in herb gardens to attract beneficial pollinators and repel unwanted pests that typically feed on the herbs.
Lemon Star Gem marigolds are a source of carotenoids such as zeaxanthin and lutein, which are brightly colored pigments found in the petals that help protect the body against free radical damage. The flowers also contain anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants to strengthen the immune system, and can be used to cleanse and soothe the digestive tract.
Lemon Star Gem marigolds have a citrus-forward, subtly peppery flavor best suited as an edible garnish, added at the end of preparations to avoid wilting. The flowers should be harvested just before use, and it is recommended only to use the petals as the flower base contains a bitter, unpleasant flavor. Lemon Star Gem marigolds can be sprinkled over salads and fruit bowls, or they can be strategically placed as accent garnish on appetizers. The flowers can also be used to top rice dishes, grain bowls, and egg-based dishes, or they can be mixed into pasta or floated on soups and curries. In addition to using the petals whole, they can be chopped and used as a fresh herb, containing a similar taste to tarragon. Lemon Star Gem marigolds can also be infused into oils or vinegar for subtle flavoring, or they can be incorporated as edible garnishes over ice cream, sorbet, custards, cakes, or cookies. Beyond culinary dishes, Lemon Star Gem marigold petals can be frozen into ice cubes, used as a decorative garnish over cocktails, steeped into a tea, blended into smoothies, or stirred into sparkling beverages. The feathery leaves of Lemon Star Gem marigolds are also edible and can be tossed into salads, lightly cooked with other vegetables, or chopped into creamy spreads and dips. Lemon Star Gem marigold flowers pair well with cream cheese, chives, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, watercress, eggs, and herbs such as mint, parsley, and rosemary. Freshly picked Lemon Star Gem marigold flowers should be immediately consumed for the best quality and flavor. Flowers with their stems still attached can be placed in water in the refrigerator and stored overnight. The harvested petals will also keep 2 to 3 days when stored in a plastic bag or clamshell in the refrigerator.
In Pekin, Illinois, many different varieties of marigold flowers are honored at the annual Marigold Festival. The event was established in 1973 and was inspired by Everett McKinley Dirksen, a former resident of the town and senator of Illinois. Dirksen was fond of marigolds and extensively campaigned for the brightly colored flowers to become the national flower of the United States. The national campaign was unsuccessful, but Dirksen inspired his hometown of Pekin, leading many residents to plant marigolds throughout the city. Legend has it that over two million marigolds of different varieties were planted throughout the city, and in 1973, Pekin residents developed the Marigold Festival the weekend after Labor Day to honor Dirksen and the flower, which was a symbol of their community. In the modern-day, the Marigold Festival attracts over 100,000 visitors and features a parade, beauty pageant, 5K run, art walk, and live entertainment. There is also an annual medallion hunt where a medallion is hidden among a patch of marigolds in the city for a resident to find. In Pekin, Lemon Star Gem marigolds are a favored variety for container growing, window boxes, and small garden spaces.
Lemon Star Gem marigolds are a type of signet marigold introduced in the late 18th century into the United States from Mexico and Central America. By the mid to late 19th century, signet marigold varieties became widespread, frequently grown from seed in home gardens. Today Lemon Star Gem marigolds are primarily offered through online and in-store seed retailers. When grown through farms, the flowers are sold through specialty grocers and farmer’s markets across the United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Recipes that include Lemon Star Gem Marigold Flowers. One is easiest, three is harder.