Marsh Marigolds Announce Spring’s Arrival

Marsh marigold along a small stream in Whting, Wisconsin

Marsh marigolds along a small stream in Whiting, Wisconsin

Based on the calendar, one would think spring starts in March.  Here in Wisconsin we typically see snow well into April. In fact we just were treated to an April snowstorm.  It’s actually Mother Nature who announces the arrival of spring.  We have been seeing her early announcements lately; the arrival of sandhill cranes, snow geese and the ever beautiful marsh marigold.

Also called “cowslips”, marsh marigolds are found in wet meadows, marshes, swamps and along sluggish streams. They grow abundantly in the wetlands around Stevens Point. The marigold’s bright yellow blossoms always brighten my day.

Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold

It’s common name “marigold” comes from the word marsh gold, an appropriate name for its appearance and typical habitat. Cowslips is said to be what happens when cows step on them on the way to take a sip in a nearby stream. Despite the plant’s common names, it is neither a marigold nor a cowslip, but rather a true member of the buttercup family.

Marsh marigolds only bloom for a few weeks. If you are in Stevens Point, take a drive on the rural roads heading north.  You will be likely to find marsh marigolds in the ditches and wetlands along the road.

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