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Caltha palustris var. palustris (Cowslip)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Caltha palustris var. palustris

Caltha palustris L. var. palustris

Cowslip, Marsh-marigold, Yellow Marsh Marigold

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Synonym(s): Caltha asarifolia, Caltha natans var. asarifolia, Caltha palustris ssp. asarifolia, Caltha palustris var. asarifolia, Caltha palustris var. flabellifolia


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

Thick stems; broadly heart-shaped leaves; and clusters of large, showy, buttercup-like, yellow flowers characterize this clumped perennial. Marsh-marigold grows from 1-1 1/2 ft. in height.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug


USA: AK , CA , CT , DE , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: Coast from AK to OR
Native Habitat: Bogs; stream edges

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Wet, humus-rich soil.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


Use Food: EDIBLE PARTS: Cooked, early spring greens are edible. Cover the young leaves with 2-3 changes of boiling water until barely tender; cut into bite-sized pieces, salt lightly, and cover with butter and some vinegar. Tightly closed buds can be pickled after covering with boiling water as described for leaves. Do not boil. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: Leaves. Toxic only in large quantities. Symptoms include burning of the throat, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, and convulsions. Toxic Principle: Protoanemonin. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Seeds should be sown immediately upon ripening and should not be allowed to dry out before sowing. Seedlings do not flower until the third year following germination. Also reproduces rapidly by division.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Caltha palustris var. palustris in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Caltha palustris var. palustris in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Caltha palustris var. palustris


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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