Nodding Onion Gardens

Native Plant Nursery

Where Wildflowers Grow

Columbia Station, Ohio, USA


Caltha palustris - Marsh Marigold

Ohio Native Plant - Natural Range

Caltha palustris

Visit the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service  website to view the natural range of Marsh Marigold
Five petals on yellow flowers of Caltha palustris
Caltha palustris

Wildlife Significance - Marsh Marigold

Nectar & Pollen Attracts
- Flies, bees, Giant Bee flies, Syrphid flies, Halictid bees, honey bees and more

Seed Attreacts - Ducks game birds and is eaten by chipmunks and other small rodents.

Detailed Information - Visit Illinois Wildflower website

Marsh Marigold seeds
Marsh Marigold seeds

Propagation Notes

Our Marsh Marigold Seed 2019 - Morphological dormancy


Marsh Marigold displays morphological dormancy, meaning the embryo in the seed must fully mature before cold stratification is initiated, in the case of Marsh Marigold a moist cold period of at least 60 days is recommended. In nature, the time frame where the seed finishes maturing occurs after it falls from the flower, spends several months in warm, moist garden soil then finally endures the harsh realities of winter.


Not fully understanding that plants in Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) Family displayed this type of double dormancy, the seed was collected once they were dark in color then immediately placed in cold moist storage for 60 days. I unknowingly interrupted their natural growth cycle.


After the sixty days of cold moist storage was complete, seeds were planted on the soil surface, held under florescent lights at 65° for 30 day. Germination did not occur. These seeds, which were now in potting soil, were placed in an unheated garage for 30 additional days.

Surprisingly, seedlings emerged 3 days after being transfered to a room temperature of 65° F during the day and 63° F at night


Caltha palustris with pretty yelllow flowers
Our patch of Caltha palustris is expanding

Cultivation Information - Marsh Marigold

Height - 1 to 2 ft
Flower Color - Yellow
Blooms - May - June
Sun - Full to Shade
Hardy Zone - 2 to 7
Soil - Moist to wet

Organic Material - Include compost or leaf much when planting, adding an additional amount later in the season. This protects the Marsh Marigold plant when it goes dormant early in the summer.

pH - 5.0 to 6.5

Family - Ranunculaceae Buttercup Family

Toxicity- Leaves in large quantities are toxic. However, several sources indicate that early settlers ate Marsh Marigold leaves early in the spring as a replacement for spinach. Considering, how difficult it is to locate this plant it seems wise to propagate it for environmental reasons and grow your own spinach.
Caltha palustris - seed before maturing
Caltha palustris - seed before maturing
Yellow blossoms not yet open on Marsh Marigold
Blossoms forming on Marsh Marigold

Seed Provenance -

Caltha palustris - Marsh Marigold Prairie Moon Nursery, Winona, MN - 2013 Nodding Onion Gardens 2015 to present