Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris), a member of the buttercup family, is a familiar sign of spring, blanketing wet places with clumps of bright yellow flowers. Now in full bloom, it can be found along streams, in marshes, on the borders of wet, roadside ditches and similar places. If you get your hiking boots covered in wet muck soil, perhaps see a frog or two, you’re in marigold habitat.
Small, round flower buds produce flowers with vivid yellow sepals (not petals).
The nectar of early spring flowers is a critical food source for bees, flies and other insects. Marsh Marigolds are especially important in this regard due to their abundance and profuse blooming habit.
All photos by NB Hunter.