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Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold

Caltha palustris


This plant has rounded, dark green leaves arising from a short stem. It has bright yellow flowers that come out in early spring.

Habitat and Distribution

This plant is found in bogs, lakes, and slow-moving streams. It is abundant in arctic and subarctic regions and in much of the eastern region of the northern United States.

Edible Parts

All parts are edible if boiled.


As with all water plants, do not eat this plant raw. Raw water plants may carry dangerous organisms that are removed only by cooking.

Steve's notes:

Occasionally you'll find marsh marigold in damp soil, even if water isn't nearby. A White-flowered variety grows in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains.

Many consider the raw plants to be poisonous. The volatile and potentially toxic compounds are destroyed by cooking. If you collect the plants later in the season, they'll be more bitter. You may have to boil them for thirty minutes or more, with a change of water.


The Ultralight Backpacking Site | Marsh Marigold