Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Marsh Marigold
Give a thumbs up Cowslip
Give a thumbs up Yellow marsh marigold

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Water Preferences: In Water
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 2 -45.6 °C (-50 °F) to -42.8 °C (-45°F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10a
Plant Height: 12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Rhizome
Suitable Locations: Bog gardening
Uses: Water gardens
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Roots are poisonous
Fruit is poisonous
Propagation: Seeds: Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Stolons and runners
Pollinators: Beetles
Miscellaneous: Goes Dormant


The Top 25 Water Garden Plants, Selected by ATP MembersThe Top 25 Water Garden Plants, Selected by ATP Members
March 15, 2014

Here's a report of the most popular water garden plants from our database!

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 19, 2012 10:13 AM

Marsh Marigold is a late spring bloomer for a sunny, moist area. Fifteen-inch mounded clumps of bright green, succulent, wavy-edged, rounded leaves produce bright yellow, shiny, 1 inch flowers that look like buttercups and are present from late spring to early summer. Marsh Marigold needs rich soil that never gets dry. If soil dries too much in the summer, the plant will go dormant. It will thrive in a wet sunny area.

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Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Feb 12, 2012 12:45 PM

Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant.

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Posted by mellielong (Lutz, Florida - Zone 9b) on Apr 23, 2015 11:51 AM

The book "How to Know the Wildflowers" (1922) by Mrs. William Starr Dana has some interesting information regarding this plant. Apparently, the marsh marigold is so abundant along certain English rivers that the ground looks as though it is paved in gold during the seasons when they overflow their banks. In the U.S. the author states the flowers are peddled on the streets every spring under the name "cowslip" but attributes this to confusion regarding English names. (That's why real gardeners use Latin!) She claims the plant is a favorite "pot-herb" among country people, supposedly far superior to spinach. The young buds are also quite palatable, she says. (Note: Do not eat things if you don't know that they're safe.)

As for the name, this plant has many. She speaks of the plant being called "Mary Growles" in the 16th century, and by early English poets as simply "gold". She hypothesizes the first part of the word may derive from the Anglo-Saxon "mere", meaning a marsh. The author suggests "Marsh-Gold" to be a far superior name for this "shining flower of the marshes."

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Posted by Cyclaminist (Minneapolis, Minnesota - Zone 5a) on May 3, 2015 1:58 AM

I planted this in a half whiskey barrel filled with compost to give it wet soil. It survived the winter, but lost its flower buds. Needs to be buried to protect it.

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Posted by robertduval14 (Mason, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Sep 19, 2016 7:12 PM

National flower of the Faroe Islands.

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Plant Events from our members
bzrhart On May 7, 2017 Obtained plant
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
An evening walk. by GreenTara18 Feb 5, 2019 2:24 PM 10
Spring 2018 by HollyAnnS May 20, 2018 6:49 PM 78
recalcitrant and semi-recalcitrant* seeds by Leftwood Jan 11, 2019 8:04 AM 12
Chicagoland Annual garden swap 2017 by oerickson Aug 25, 2017 10:41 AM 303
Please help to name that plant. by Jegomosc Sep 30, 2014 6:37 AM 4
Woodland Wildflower by CindiKS Apr 2, 2013 5:01 AM 3
Banner for April 18, 2012 by chelle by chelle Apr 18, 2012 4:49 PM 13
Yellow flowered Weed bulb blooms by Newyorkrita May 14, 2013 12:46 AM 15
What's blooming already? by wildflowers Jun 16, 2012 5:07 PM 102

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