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Plant of the Week – Caltha palustris

Plant of the Week! Spring is officially here, and with it come the ephemeral native flowers that you must be quick to observe! One such ephemeral is Caltha palustris, Marsh Marigold. Marsh Marigold is a low-growing perennial found in wetlands, fens, stream edges, and other consistently wet areas. The glossy leaves and bright flowers are very attractive, but this plant can only be grown in wetland gardens or in low areas that hold moisture. Although the flowers are unmistakably yellow to us, according to the USDA Forest Service, the upper part of the “petals” (which are actually sepals) appears as a yellow and ultraviolet color to insects. It provides nectar and pollen to a variety of insects, particularly Syrphid Flies. The rest of the plant, however, is toxic, and even handling the plant can irritate the skin.

 

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