Marsh Marigold — Caltha palustris

Wilderness Arts — Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants by Alexis Burnette

#1 Marsh Marigold – Caltha palustris

Recently I harvested from a number of marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) plants that were growing along a clear stream flowing into a small creek here in Grey County. The Marsh Marigold is a beautiful plant that is one of the first flowers to attract our eyes growing in the wet areas throughout our area. Thier showy yellow flowers are very attractive and stand in sharp contrast to the ‘dull’ colors of the winter months. The green rounded leaves are the first to emerge from the moisture-laden soil and followed soon after by the flower buds and then the striking yellow flowers.

General Description: Buttercup-like flowers 1-1.5″ 5-9 deep yellow sepals (appear as petals). Heart-shaped leaves are deep green. Stems are hollow and succulent. In flower from April to June.

Uses:It is the yoiung leaves and flower buds that are used in the early to mid spring. The leaves NEED to be boiled in 2-3 changes of water for 20 mins. as they contain poisons that need to be boiled in order to make them edible! Once boiled the young leaves are quite tastey and very appreciated as some of the first edible greens of the year. Remove the stalks from the leaves before boiling. The young flower buds can be boiled for 10 mins in two changes of water and ‘pickled’ in vinegar.

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