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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Caltha palustris L.)

Marsh marigold

BUTTERCUP FAMILY (Ranunculaceae)


FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: A perennial herb with hollow stems 2-6 dm. long. The flowers are 1.5-4 cm. wide, golden yellow, with 5-9 petal-like sepals, and 4 to many pistils surrounded by many stamens. The leaves are heart-shaped or kidney-shaped, entire or toothed, and 3-20 cm. in diameter. The fruit is a follicle 1-1.5 cm. long with a pronounced beak. In flower during April and May.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Marsh marigold, also known as cowslip, is found in sedge meadows, fresh (wet) meadows, hardwood swamps, shrub swamps, shallow marshes, and along streambanks; especially in springy areas. It is one of our first wildflowers to bloom in spring.

SOURCE: Fernald (1970); and Gleason and Cronquist (1991).

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