Marsh marigold, Caltha palustris

Life Cycle

Perennial plant.


Stem up to 60cm tall.


Leaves are basal on stem and long-stalked. Kidney to heart-shaped, 5-18 cm across, smaller on stem, toothed margins, dark green, shiny and thick.

Flowers and Fruit

Bright yellow, 15-40 mm wide. Sepals are petal-like, 5 to 9. Fruit; 4-12 follicles, each 4-15 mm long.

Roots and Underground Structures

Roots are fibrous and coarse.


Marshes, swamps and edges of streams.

Distinguishing Features

Bright yellow flowers and shiny green leaves. One of the first flowers to bloom in the spring.

Figure #1.

Marsh marigold near stream. May, Central Ontario.

Figure #2.

Yellow flower of marsh marigold.

Figure #3.

Smooth stem of marsh marigold.

Figure #4.

Leaf of marsh marigold.