Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)

Marsh marigold plant with yellow flowersThe Marsh Marigold (also known as Kingcup, Mayflower, May Blobs, Mollyblobs, Pollyblobs, Horse Bob, Water Blobs, Water Bubbles, Gollins, and Cowslip) plant has rounded, dark green leaves arising from a short stem. The plant grows to about 80 centimeters (31 inches) tall.  Its leaves are rounded to kidney-shaped and 2-7 inches across typically with bluntly serrated edges and a thick, waxy texture and rounded tip.  It has bright yellow flowers (sometimes white) with 4-9 petals (most have 5 petals) and many yellow stamens.  It will produce numerous clusters of seed pods.

Where to Find: This plant is found in bogs, marshes, lakes, and slow-moving streams. It is abundant in arctic and subarctic regions, and in much of the eastern region of the northern United States.  It prefers partial shade.

Edible Parts: All parts are edible if boiled.  Preferable to avoid older parts which will contain more toxic glycoside protoanemanin (which is destroyed by heat).  The young leaves (before the plant as flowered) are edible raw or cooked.  The flower buds can be eaten raw or cooked.  The sap can irritate sensitive skin.

Note: As with all water plants, do not eat this plant raw. Raw water plants may carry dangerous organisms that are removed only by cooking.

The yellow flowers of the Marsh marigold

Marsh marigold plant

Marsh marigold leaves and flowers

Close-up of Marsh marigold leaf

Color drawing of Marsh marigold

Color drawing of Marsh marigold illustrating its various components

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