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Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris

Phonetic Spelling
KAL-tha pal-US-triss
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Caltha palustris, or Marsh marigold, is a native rhizomatous herbaceous perennial in the buttercup (Ranuculaceae) family that can be found from Newfoundland to Alaska south to Nebraska, Tennessee and North Carolina. The common name, Marsh marigold, is misleading because it does not look like, nor is it related to marigolds.  

Marsh marigold is perfect for water gardens, pond edges, rain gardens, and wet, boggy areas in the landscape because it requires constant moisture and tolerates wet soil. It is an early bloomer in the spring with striking yellow flowers on tall, 12 to 18 inch, hollow, branching stems. For best flowering, you should site the plant in full sun, however, full sun in the summer may force the plant to go dormant. This can be rectified with a site that provides some afternoon shade in the summer. Marsh marigold is low maintenance, easy to grow, and will spread in your yard by seed or by division of rhizomes dug up in the fall and replanted in early spring.

It is listed as endangered on the North Carolina Protected Plant list.

Marsh marigold is deer resistant and has no serious insect or disease problems, however, it can be susceptible to rust and powdery mildew. Caltha palustris can be confused with  Ficaria verna and Geum radiatum. Ficaria is weedy, but Geum radiatum could be considered an alternative.

This plant can be toxic and ingesting large amounts of the plant's leaves can lead to burning of the throat, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, and convulsions. However, under proper conditions, early spring greens gathered from the plant are edible. To properly prepare the greens, cover the young leaves with 2 to 3 changes of boiling water until the leaves are barely tender; cut into bite-sized pieces, salt lightly, and cover with butter and some vinegar. You can also pickle tightly closed flower buds in vinegar, which can be substituted for capers, after covering with boiling water as described above. No part of this plant should ever be eaten raw.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#yellow#poisonous#partial shade#water garden#rain garden#summer#spring#perennial#wildflowers#boggy#low maintenance#deer resistant#ponds#native garden#naturalizes
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#yellow#poisonous#partial shade#water garden#rain garden#summer#spring#perennial#wildflowers#boggy#low maintenance#deer resistant#ponds#native garden#naturalizes
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Caltha
    Species:
    palustris
    Family:
    Ranunculaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    Native locally in mountains; cultivated
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts hummingbirds and bees.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    deer resistant
    Edibility:
    Spring greens, in small quantities and properly prepared, for salads.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Mounding
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    Flowers give way to seed pods which split open when ripe to disperse the seeds within.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    Colored Sepals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    One to two inches in diameter with five to nine shiny waxy deep yellow petal-like sepals. Blooms in spring (April-June).
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Orbicular
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenulate
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Long-stalked, roundish to cordate, basal heart-shaped leaves in the spring. Leaves achive mature size in summer well after flowering. Upper stem leaves are smaller and stalkless.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Branches regularly, hollow
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Ingesting large amounts of leaves can lead to burning of the throat, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, and convulsions.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Protoanemonin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves