Caltha palustris

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Marsh-marigold


The large golden flowers of Marsh-marigold certainly look like the cups of kings and the Latin name Caltha is derived from the Greek for 'goblet'. Hence, Marsh-marigold is also commonly known as 'Kingcup'. It is a widespread plant of ponds, marshes, damp meadows, ditches and wet woodland and, before the draining of the landscape for agriculture began, was a conspicuous spring flower.

How to identify

Marsh-marigold is a large buttercup-like flower that grows in wet places. It has very large, rounded, scalloped leaves.

Where to find it

Found throughout the country.


When to find it

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July

How can people help

Human activity, including the drainage of land for agriculture, the loss of ponds through development and the removal of wet woods, has resulted in the disappearance of many of the UK's wetlands. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with planners, developers and farmers to ensure our wetlands are protected. You can help too: plant Marsh-marigolds and other natives around a wildlife-friendly pond and provide shelter for frogs and early nectar for insects. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Caltha palustris
Height: up to 30cm
Conservation status