Red Gem Marigold Flowers
Inventory, 100 ct : 0
Red Gem marigold flowers 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, and rectangular-shaped petals that are dark red-orange with a bright orange border. It is important to note that Red Gem marigold flowers will display dark red, almost crimson hues when the flowers first open, fading into a red-orange shade as the bloom grows older. The petals surround a bright orange center and are soft, pliable, and delicate with a silky, velvety consistency. Red Gem marigold flowers have a chewy and somewhat dry texture, releasing a sweet, citrus-forward flavor with subtle spice, floral, licorice, and astringent notes. In addition to the edible flowers, the fern-like, lacy foliage has a bright and aromatic, citrus scent is also edible, containing a lemon-like, minty, green taste.
Red Gem marigold flowers are available in the summer through fall.
Red Gem flowers, botanically classified as Tagetes tenuifolia ‘Red Gem,’ are a lesser-known species of marigold belonging to the Asteraceae family. The small, brightly colored flowers are also known as Citrus Gems and are a part of a single-flower series of signet marigolds valued for their citrus scent and flavor. Signet marigolds are herbaceous annuals derived from a wild marigold species native to Mexico and Central America. The petite flowers are distinct from more common French and African marigold species and showcase frilly foliage favored as a unique landscape plant in home gardens. Red Gem marigold flowers are considered a vintage variety that was once popular but fell out of favor among American gardeners. In the modern-day, the variety is remerging as a unique plant incorporated into herb gardens, as both the leaves and flowers are edible.
Red Gem marigold flowers are a source of carotenoids, specifically zeaxanthin and lutein, which are brightly colored pigments found in the petals that help protect the body against free radical damage. The flowers can also be used to cleanse the digestive tract and soothe symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel conditions.
Red Gem marigold flowers have a peppery, citrus-like flavor best suited as an edible garnish. The flowers should be harvested just before use, and it is recommended only to use the petals as the base of the flower contains a bitter, unpleasant flavor. Red Gem marigold flowers can be sprinkled into salads, complementing light vinaigrettes, floated on soups, stirred into pasta, mixed into egg-based dishes, or layered on top of fresh biscuits. The petals can also be incorporated into stir-fries and rice or crumbled into cookies, cakes, ice cream, and fillings for pastries. In addition to culinary dishes, Red 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 leaves of Red Gem marigolds are also edible and can be tossed into salads, lightly cooked with other vegetables, or chopped into creamy dips. Red Gem marigold flowers pair well with herbs such as mint, lemon balm, and rosemary, fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and grapefruit, bell pepper, mushrooms, ginger, and carrots. Freshly picked Red Gem marigold flowers should be immediately consumed for the best quality and flavor, but 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.
Red Gem marigold flowers are being planted in restaurant gardens in warm regions throughout the United States. The variety develops a bushy, compact shape, growing between 25 to 30 centimeters in height, and is highly favored for its long-blooming nature, high flower yield, aromatic leaves, and citrusy taste. Red Gem marigold flowers also complement other cultivars found in herb gardens as it is known to attract beneficial pollinators and repel destructive insects that generally feed on herbs. On Amelia Island in Florida, multiple varieties of Citrus Gem marigolds are incorporated as edible garnishes into desserts featured at several restaurants within The Ritz Carlton. Pastry Chef Sheldon Millett appreciates the flower’s brightly colored nature and uses full Citrus Gem marigold blooms for added texture and flavor to their signature honey rose cake. Millett also uses the flowers as decoration on chocolate desserts and a citrus yogurt mousse. As part of the dining experience, Millett shares with diners how the flowers are grown in their garden and are a beneficial variety to attract pollinators to make their edible garden flourish.
Red Gem marigold flowers are descendants of wild marigold species native to Mexico and Central America that have been growing wild since ancient times. The small, brightly colored flowers grow in semi-tropical to tropical climates and are a type of signet marigold variety introduced in the late 18th century into the United States. By the mid to late 19th century, signet marigold varieties became widespread, frequently grown from seed in home gardens. Today Red Gem marigold flowers 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 parts of South America.
Recipes that include Red Gem Marigold Flowers. One is easiest, three is harder.