May 6, 2010

Marsh Marigolds

There are broad sweeps of marsh marigolds now blooming in the wet areas of fields in northern Vermont, with cheerful bright yellow blooms. It's surprising that here, on a hill at 1300 feet above sea level, there would be so much water, but there is. My pond was dug by the previous owners years ago because the area was so wet; there are springs all over my hill, and my water comes from a spring-fed well. So marsh marigolds, or cowslips as they're called locally, abound.

Early in the season, before they flower, the leaves are edible, and much loved by moose; one year a cow moose and her calf came to the field behind my barn early each morning to feed on the plants. I've tried eating them, but found them bitter; maybe I didn't cook them properly. The clump in the photo above is at the edge of my pond, where I transplanted it so as to have some early color there. The form of the plant is quite lovely, with spherical buds, rounded leaves and wide, hollow stems.

Here are some marsh marigolds blooming along a rivulet formed by spring runoff in my lower field. Their bright blooms sparkle alongside the sun specked water.


  1. They're one of the best of the flowers out right now -- bold and graceful at the same time. Have you looked at their heads of beaked seeds later? Not that I want them to hurry by. A benefit of the returning cold -- it will slow down what goes by too fast!

  2. Thanks, Susan, for telling me about the seed heads; I will now be sure to take a look at them. Yes, I agree that there is some good that comes from the cold: longer lasting flowers.

  3. My 2 small clumps from last year have expanded this many bright flowers! Guess they like where I put them. But the apple blossoms almost 2 weeks early this year?