Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)

loading
Marsh marigold mass in flower at water's edge
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Marsh marigold fact file

Marsh marigold description

KingdomPlantae
PhylumAnthophyta
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderRanunculales
FamilyRanunculaceae
GenusCaltha

Marsh marigold, also known as kingcup, is believed to be one of Britain’s most ancient native plants. It may have been growing here since before the last Ice Age and, after the retreat of the icecaps, it proliferated across the watery landscape. It is a spectacular-looking plant, with large rich yellow flowers, each with five petals, and shiny green, heart-shaped leaves borne on long, smooth hollow stems.

Also known as
kingcup.
Size
Stem length: up to 60 cm
Top

Marsh marigold biology

A perennial, marsh marigold is in flower from March to August, and is one of the first plants to appear. It has been long regarded as a herald of spring and in the Isle of Man it was the centre of a custom known as ‘bringing in the mayflower’. The flowers were scattered over doorsteps on the eve of May Day.

Top

Marsh marigold range

This plant’s range can best be described as circumboreal, meaning ‘around the north’. Marsh marigold is found across most of the UK and Europe (although rare in Mediterranean regions), Northern Asia and large parts of North America.

You can view distribution information for this species at the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
Top

Marsh marigold habitat

Marsh marigold is a plant of marshy meadows, wet flushes and ditches, from the lowlands to the uplands.

Top

Marsh marigold status

Common in the UK

Top

Marsh marigold threats

Although marsh marigold declined somewhat in the UK through drainage of land for farming during the 1970s, its distribution has changed little. The withdrawing of agricultural grants for draining wetland stabilised this decline, and there is no perceived threat to its survival as a native species.

Top

Marsh marigold conservation

There are currently no conservation projects in place for marsh marigold.

There may be further information about this species available via the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
Top

Authentication

Information supplied by English Nature.

http://www.english-nature.org.uk

Top

Glossary

Perennial
Plants that live for at least three seasons; after an initial period they produce flowers once a year.
Top

References

X
Close

Image credit

Marsh marigold mass in flower at water's edge  
Marsh marigold mass in flower at water's edge

© Jim Bain / www.photoshot.com

NHPA/Photoshot Holdings Ltd
29-31 Saffron Hill
London
EC1N 8SW
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7421 6003
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7421 6006
sales@photoshot.com
http://www.photoshot.com

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

This species is featured in:

This species is featured in the Wisconsin's Northwoods eco-region

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog