Marsh Marigold: Mary gold

After a long, dark winter there is nothing like bit of bright 'sunshine' to cheer a miserable, cold, wet early April morning. This is when the first marsh-marigolds (Caltha palustris) usually come into flower in our garden pond. 
I usually call these king-cups and they are also commonly knwn as marsh-cups but my reference book calls them marsh-marigold so I will have to change my ways! They are common anywhere by fresh water where the ground is wet so you will see them on wet meadows, river banks, edges of ponds and lakes, even in damp woodland. Each year there are masses of them on the water meadows of Wareham common and you can see hundreds of them from the Wareham by-pass, they are so striking you can see them clearly from the car as you pass.
Marigold is an English name usually associated with members of the daisy family but these are, of course, members of the buttercup family. It seems marigold is a corruption of Mary gold, these flowers traditionally being put in churches at Easter as a tribute to the Virgin Mary. 
Marsh Marigold: Mary gold

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