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CALTHA PALLUSTRIS | Marsh Marigold

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Product Description

From the old Greek caltha meaning "cup" and from the Latin palustris meaning "of the marsh".

Marsh Marigolds (Caltha Pallustris) are showy yellow flowers bloom rather early in the spring, from April through May. They are a spectacular sight in their big, golden colonies with flowers up to 1 1/2 inches across. They are found from as far north as Alaska and Labrador and south to New England through South Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa and Nebraska. Marsh Marigolds prefer the wet soils of marshes, woodlands, seeps and stream banks. Caltha Pallustris was used by early physicians used to treat dropsy, anemia, coughs and convulsions. Warts were treated with a drop a day of the plant's juice until the wart disappeared. Native Americans used it to treat the diseases of women, colds and open sores. Leaves gathered from the plant before it bloomed in the spring were cooked thoroughly to destroy a toxic alkaloid they contain and used as greens by many tribes of the northern US. Early settlers often pickled the flower buds; in fact that particular dish was quite a delicacy in restaurants on the east coast. The blossoms of Marsh Marigolds have also been used to make wine and were the source of a brilliant yellow dye.

These showy yellow flowers bloom rather early in the spring, from April through May. They are a spectacular sight in their big, golden colonies with flowers up to 1 1/2 inches across. They are found from as far north as Alaska and Labrador and south to New England through South Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa and Nebraska. Marsh Marigolds prefer the wet soils of marshes, woodlands, seeps and stream banks.

Early physicians used Caltha palustris to treat dropsy, anemia, coughs and convulsions. Warts were treated with a drop a day of the plant's juice until the wart disappeared. Native Americans used it to treat the diseases of women, colds and open sores. Leaves gathered from the plant before it bloomed in the spring were cooked thoroughly to destroy a toxic alkaloid they contain and used as greens by many tribes of the northern US. Early settlers often pickled the flower buds; in fact that particular dish was quite a delicacy in restaurants on the east coast. The blossoms of Marsh Marigolds have also been used to make wine and were the source of a brilliant yellow dye.

Sun Exposure               Prairie, Savanna, Woodland
Soil Moisture Wet, Wet Mesic
Bloom Time

Spring, Summer
April, May, June

Bloom Color Yellow
Max Height 2 feet
Wetland Code OBL
Germ Code  C(60)
Seeds Per Packet  200
Seeds Per Ounce   26,000

 

Edible Uses: Root - must be well cooked. The raw root should not be eaten. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Flower buds - raw, cooked or pickled and used as a caper substitute. Eating the raw flower buds can lead to intoxication. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Young leaves - raw or cooked. The leaves are harvested in the spring as the plant is coming into flower and is used like spinach after cooking in two or more changes of water. Eating the raw leaves can lead to intoxication. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Older leaves, before the plant flowers, can be eaten if they are well cooked. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses: Every part of this plant is strongly irritant and so it should be used with caution. The whole plant is anodyne, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant and rubefacient. It has been used to remove warts and is also used in the treatment of fits and anaemia.

The root is antirheumatic, diaphoretic, emetic and expectorant. A decoction is used in the treatment of colds. A poultice of the boiled and mashed roots has been applied to sores.

A tea made from the leaves is diuretic and laxative.

All parts of the plant can irritate or blister the skin or mucous membranes.

Other Uses: A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers, a saffron substitute. It is used as a dye when mixed with alum, though it is not very permanent. Plants can be grown for ground cover when planted about 45cm apart each way.

Herbal Uses: Unknown

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