Wildflowers, Plants and Ferns, Pacific Northwest
The Marsh Marigold grows all over the BC coastal region. The plant is a herbaceous perennial and is found in wet woodlands and damp meadows as well as along stream banks. It also makes a beautiful addition to a garden pond.
This hairless, stout wildflower resembles a buttercup, it is after all from the same family. However, there are a few features that will help you distinguish it at a glance. The flowers of this plant are larger than those of a buttercup and they are also more golden yellow in color. The dark green leaves are large and kidney shaped with a glossy appearance, usually with two lobes at the base and the stems are long and hollow. The leaves are small when the flowers are in abundance but they will keep on growing into larger leaves, around 10 cm across, when the yellow flowers fade. The Marsh Marigold’s brilliant yellow flowers are about 15 to 50mm across usually with 5 petal like sepals and an abundance of yellow stamens and ovary bearing structures in the center.
The Marsh Marigold is one of the first wetland wildflowers to bloom early in the spring. This makes it a welcome early source of pollen and nectar for many insects such as the honeybee. On the banks of a pond or river it creates an excellent ground cover and provides shelter for frogs and other water side inhabitants.
Marsh Marigold contains harmful toxins and an alkaloid poison. As a result, all parts of the plant can be an irritant and it has been known to cause skin rashes and dermatitis. Marsh Marigold has been used for medicinal purposes, from the removal of warts to the treatment of fits and anemia.
Various preparations of the roots are used in the treatment of colds and sores and a tea made from the leaves will act as a laxative.