Thursday, May 19, 2011

Marsh marigolds: An appreciation

The little creeks and the ditches of the North Shore are filling up with the big yellow burst of marsh marigolds. For most of us unable to hike deep into the woods, these are the first real noticeable blooms of spring. 

I used to try to charm my wife with a small bud vase of two or three marsh marigold blooms, if I could find enough of them in one place to pluck a few. But then I learned that some Native Americans used marsh marigold as a protection against love charms. Oops.

Marsh marigold is actually not a marigold, but a member of the buttercup family. Their natural habitat on the North Shore are the little unnamed creeks that dry up in the summer but run like clear music in the spring. They are common in roadside ditches along Highway 61, as long as it's moving water and not a stagnant pool. 

Here are some other names for marsh marigolds in England: May Blobs, Mollyblobs, Pollyblobs, Horse Blob, Water Blobs, Water Bubbles, Gollins and the Publican. And in North America, it can go by: Cowslip, Cowflock, Kingcup, Buttercup, Populage des Marais, Soucis d'Eau.

I just call them lovely. If not love charming.


Sara said...

I think of these as Mother's Day flowers. They are almost always ready for picking just for this holiday.

Andrew Slade said...

Lovely image...thanks!

Pam said...

We just saw these on our way up north last week and wondered what they were. Pretty!