Tuesday 21 May
Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)
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Marsh marigold fact file
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Marsh marigold description
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
- Stem length: up to 60 cm
- Plants that live for at least three seasons; after an initial period they produce flowers once a year.
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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.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 UKTop
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.Top
Information supplied by English Nature.
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