©Zsuzsanna Bird


Scientific name: Caltha palustris
The large, golden flowers of Marsh-marigold look like the cups of kings, hence its other name: 'Kingcup'. It favours damp spots, like ponds, meadows, marshes, ditches and wet woodlands.

Species information


Height: up to 50cm

Conservation status


When to see

March to July


The large, golden flowers of Marsh-marigold certainly look like the cups of kings; indeed, the Latin name, Caltha,is derived from the Greek for 'goblet', and this plant is also commonly known as 'Kingcup'. It is a widespread flower of ponds, marshes, damp meadows, ditches and wet woodland and is a conspicuous spring flower. Marsh-marigold is also a good plant to add to a wildlife-friendly pond, providing shelter for frogs and early nectar for insects.

How to identify

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



Did you know?

The spring-flowering of Marsh-marigold was considered a good omen on the Isle of Man, and the flowers, known as 'Mayflowers', were strewn on doorsteps. Today, Marsh-marigold is still brought into the house in spring by the islanders.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.