Herb: Western Marsh Marigold


Latin name: Caltha leptosepala


Synonyms: Caltha rotundifolia


Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)



Medicinal use of Western Marsh Marigold:

The whole plant is antispasmodic and expectorant. It has been used to remove warts. A poultice of the chewed roots has been applied to inflamed wounds.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

Flovering:
May to
June

Habitat of the herb:

Sub-alpine and alpine swamps and marshy meadows.

Edible parts of Western Marsh Marigold:

Root - it must be well cooked. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Flower buds - raw, cooked or pickled and used as a caper substitute. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Young leaves, before the flowers emerge are eaten raw or cooked. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Older leaves, before the plant flowers, can be eaten if well cooked. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in late summer. Stand the pots in 2 - 3cm of water to keep the soil wet. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15C. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a tray of water in a cold frame until they are at least 15cm tall. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in early spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring.

Cultivation of Western Marsh Marigold:

Sub-alpine and alpine swamps and marshy meadows.

Known hazards of Caltha leptosepala:

The whole plant, but especially the older portions, contains the toxic glycoside protoanemanin - this is destroyed by heat. The sap can irritate sensitive skin.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.