Marsh Marigold


Caltha palustris

Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae)

Description: Smooth, hairless plants with finely ridged, weak, hollow stems up to 2' long. The leaves are alternate, stalked, and broadly rounded, with heart-shaped bases and often with teeth along the edges. The largest leaves are up to 5" long and sometimes wider than long, with the upper stem leaves much smaller and often stalkless. The bright yellow flowers are up to 2" wide on individual stalks near the top of the plant. Each flower has 5-6, rarely up to 9, shiny petal-like sepals surrounding numerous stamens.  There are no true petals.


Range Habitat: Common in wet, marshy sites, muddy seepage areas, fens, and along streams; often in shallow water, and usually growing where competition from other vegetation is minimal. Found through the northern tallgrass region, south to northwestern Missouri, central Illinois, and Indiana.