In early spring, the marsh marigolds begin blooming along the edges of water seeps, wetlands, wet meadows, and along rivulets in wooded swamps. Their beautiful gold flowers contrast strongly with the deep green of their large, roundish to kidney-shaped leaves.
They are among our earliest flowers to bloom and offer spots of color in the bleak scenes of a still leafless forest. Insects find these early flowers desirable as sources of pollen and nectar when most other flowers are yet to bloom.
While not generally considered poisonous, some people are sensitive to this plant and may break out in a rash after handling it.
Its scientific name, palustris, is Latin for “of a marsh” and appropriately this plant is often found in wet forests and marshes.
Blooms: April and May
Did You Know?
At Lake Itasca, the elevation of the Mississippi River is 1,475 feet above sea level. It drops to sea level at the Gulf of Mexico. More than half of that drop occurs within the state of Minnesota.