Marsh Marigold

aka kingcup
Caltha palustris
Icelandic: hófsóle
Ranunculaceae

 

This early spring blooming perennial is found across the Piedmont in Maryland, with scattered occurrences in the Coastal Plain and Allegheny Plateau, yet I had never seen it before this June. I have seen a lot of its look-alike cousin, Ranunculus ficaria, one of our worst alien invasive plants.

You may be wondering, if it’s an early spring bloomer, why did I see it in June?

I saw it in June because that’s when it blooms in Iceland.

Marsh marigold’s native range is widespread: it grows in wet areas across the Northern Hemisphere in temperate regions, including Canada and parts of the US (in the US it’s absent from the Deep South, southern Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, and the desert West). It’s endangered in Tennessee.  It’s widespread in the lowlands in Iceland. There are three species of Caltha occuring in the US; worldwide there are about a dozen species.

This plant has been on my personal watch list for years, so on the one hand I was delighted to finally see it. On the other hand, I’m mildly annoyed that it was a few thousand miles from home.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.