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Caltha palustris L.

 

Marsh marigold, kingcup

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassMagnoliidaeIncludes magnolias, nutmeg, bay laurel, cinnamon, avocado, black pepper, and many others
OrderRanunculalesBasal (evolved earlier) eudicots, also called “true dicots”
FamilyRanunculaceaeButtercup family
GenusCalthaA Latin name for the marigold
SpeciespalustrisGrowing in marshes

About plant names...

Marsh marigolds are not marigolds at all—they are mem­bers of the buttercup family. They are native to temperate regions in Europe, Russia, Iceland, and North America. This plant is sometimes called cowslip, but another plant, Primula veris, is the proper owner of this name.

Plants: These plants are found in marshes, fens, and bogs. They are up to 31" (80 cm) tall. Stems are thick and hollow.

Leaves: Glossy rounded or kidney-shaped leaves are up to 8" (20 cm) across.

Flowers: Bright shiny yellow flowers often have five petals, but may have between four and nine. Each flower is about 1-1½" (2.5-3.8 cm) across.

Fruits: 4-15 follicles, each ¼-⅜" (7-12 mm) × ¹/₁₆-⅛" (3-4 mm). Seed pods split open when ripe to disperse the seeds.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones Members of the buttercup family are poisonous, and marsh marigolds are no exception. However, young leaves (no stalks), harvested while the plant is still flowering, may be cooked in several changes of boiling water, producing an “excellent”[1] result.

Online References:

Caltha palustris on Earl J.S. Rook's Flora, Fauna, Earth, and Sky ... The Natural History of the Northwoods

Caltha palustris on Missouriplants.com

Caltha palustris at Illinois Wildflowers

Caltha palustris on Wikipedia

Caltha palustris at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Caltha palustris on plants.ces.ncsu.edu

Caltha palustris on

Caltha palustris on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Caltha palustris on CalPhotos

Caltha palustris on eFloras

References:

Thierer, John W., Niering, William A, Olmstead, Nancy C., National Audabon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region, Alfred A. Knopf, 2001, p. 727

Peterson, Lee Allen, Peterson Field Guides: Edible Wild Plants of Eastern/Central North America, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977, p. 70

Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, kingcup)

4/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, kingcup)

4/23/2016 · Big Tree/Porcupine Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, MA

Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, kingcup)

4/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, kingcup)

5/7/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 24 × 21" (60 × 52 cm)

1See the Peterson Field Guides Edible Wild Plants, Eastern/Central North America, listed above

Caltha palustris description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, kingcup)

4/6/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 15 × 12" (37 × 29 cm)

Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, kingcup)

4/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 23 × 19" (59 × 48 cm)

Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, kingcup)

4/23/2016 · Big Tree/Porcupine Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, MA
≈ 6 × 5" (15 × 12 cm)

Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, kingcup)

4/15/1979 · Memphis, TN · By Tim Chandler

Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, kingcup)

5/18/2016 · Worcester Road, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH
≈ 20 × 16" (51 × 40 cm)

Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, kingcup)

4/23/2016 · Big Tree/Porcupine Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, MA
≈ 3 × 2½" (8.4 × 6.5 cm)

Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, kingcup)

4/23/2016 · Big Tree/Porcupine Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, MA
≈ 8 × 7" (20 × 17 cm)

Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, kingcup)

4/13/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 14" (23 × 35 cm)

Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, kingcup)

4/23/2016 · Big Tree/Porcupine Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, MA

Range: Zones 9-11:

About this map...