Caltha palustris
Garden Plant Information

Caltha palustris


Caltha palustris - close-up




Caltha palustris (also called marsh marigolds and king cups)







General description

Rhizomatous pond or bog area plant grown for yellow flowers in spring. This lovely spring flowering plant looks beautiful growing at the edge of a pond, where its flowers are reflected in the water beneath. Also suitable for bog gardens and moist borders. Caltha palustris will self-seed so the plant will pop up around the pond edges, giving it a natural look. Near here, it has spread along the wet edges of a nearby stream and every spring the banks are filled with colour. It is also a useful food plant for early foraging insects.

Season of interest

Flowers in spring followed by kidney-shaped green leaves. Flowers earlier when grown in water because the roots are less likely to get frozen.

Key horticultural features

  1. Low growing but upright habit. H: 25cm S: 45cm

  2. Leaves kidney-shaped, dark green, toothed.

  3. Stems straight, rounded, mid to dark green.

  4. Flowers bright yellow, cup-shaped, slightly waxy.

Cultural details


Sun to dappled shade.


Rich, boggy soil at the water's edge, or in shallow water as long as they have good anchorage for the roots.


Fully hardy.


Divide at the end of the summer or very early in spring before flowering. Generally pest free, but powdery mildew may be a problem if the ground dries out.


Sow seed as soon as it is ripe and keep moist. Will also self-seed.