Alex Palmer's Natural History Notes and Thoughts

Thoughts and reflections on various social and environmental issues, as well as naturalist observations from the great outdoors.

yellow in the mud

If you live in the northern states east of the Mississippi, you know that the hiking trails are soggy with mud. As the snow melts and the spring rain showers fall, the ground becomes saturated. At this point the leaves have not come out on the trees yet, and the woods look somewhat bare and drab. However, there is one vivid exception to all of this muddy, messy, and grey early spring landscape: The Marsh Marigold (Caltha Palustrus). Around this time of year, those silty and slimy soils of the North Woods are dotted bright yellow from the blossoms of these magnificent flowers. Their bright and cheerful petals with their lush, circular-shaped leaves stand in stark contrast to the mud substrate in which they grow.

Next time you are trudging through the mud on a desperate early spring hike, keep your eye out for this magnificent wildflower. Just remember to wipe the mud off of your shoes when you get back home.

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One response to “yellow in the mud

  1. Brandon April 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Nice picture! I've been noticing them blooming at work over the past week or so!

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