Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) has dark green, heart or kidney-shaped leaves that grow off a thick, hollow branching stem. Shiny yellow spring flowers erupt early in spring, sometimes before all of the snow has left for the season. Marsh marigolds or cowslips are best enjoyed along edges of ponds or streams preferring shallow water. Hardy from zones 3-7, Cowslips require a period of cold dormancy to bloom the following spring.
Common Names: Marsh marigold, Cowslip, Elkslip, Yellow marsh marigold
Scientific Name: Caltha palustris
Sun Tolerance: Marsh marigold prefers part shade or full shade.
Planting Depth: Plant your marsh marigold in moist soil or no more than 2 inches of water.
Plant Size: Marsh marigold grow to be 12 to 18 inches tall and wide.
Growing Habit: Marsh marigolds grow in clumps
Bloom color and time of year: Marsh marigold’s bright yellow blossoms are among the first spring flowers that appear shortly after all the snow melts in early April.
Native Status: Marsh marigold is native to wet woods, marshy hollows and stream edges of the eastern US as far south as North Carolina and across Canada.
Benefit: Marsh marigold is one of the first plants to start feeding on nutrients in your pond and provide additional surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow on, which helps to keep your pond clean.
Care: Cut back any brown leaves or stems as the plant matures over the season to eliminate any decaying plant material that would provide food for algae. The marsh marigold may turn completely brown and hibernate as early as July through winter but will return early next spring.