Caltha palustris / Gewone dotterbloem

In de lente vind je vooral op natte tot zeer natte standplaatsen de bloeiende Gewone dotterbloem, Cáltha palústris L. subsp. palústris uit de Ranonkelfamilie aan. Aan het hele uiterlijk, of habitus, van de plant zie je al meteen dat ze wel op boterbloemen lijkt maar er toch behoorlijk van afwijkt. Het zijn tamelijk forse planten die tot 50 cm hoog kunnen worden, ze hebben grote hartvomige bladeren en in vergelijking met Boterbloemen grote dooiergele bloemen die een doorsnede hebben van 2-5 cm.

Gewone dotterbloem is een plant die de voorkeur heeft voor zeer natte standplaatsen. Je vindt haar niet alleen aan de rand van snelstromende beekjes, maar ook vaak erin als ze niet te diep zijn. In bronnen of bronbeekjes kun je haar ook vaak vinden. Als de bodem van grasland voedselrijk en nat voelt ze zich ook thuis en op natte plekken in loofbossen, zeg maar moerasbos voelt kan ze ook gevonden worden. Je vindt Gewone dotterbloem dan ook in de beschreven milieus in het Rivierengebied en in de laagveengebieden. Elders is ze enkel in de beschreven habitats te vinden en is dan zeldzaam. In droge hoge gebieden is ze slechts zeer uitzonderlijk te vinden, gezien de eisen die ze aan haar omgeving stelt.

Marigold, Marsh / Mrs. Grieve A Modern Herbal

Botanical: Caltha palustris (LINN.)

Family: N.O. Ranunculaceae


---Synonyms---Kingcups. Water Blobs. Horse Blobs. Bull's Eyes. Leopard's Foot. Meadow Routs. Verrucaria. Solsequia. Sponsa solis.

---Parts Used---Whole plant, buds, leaves.

The Marsh Marigold, a showy dark-green plant resembling a gigantic buttercup, is abundant in marshes, wet meadows, and by the side of streams, where it forms large tufts or masses.

---Description---It is a herbaceous perennial. The stems are about a foot in height, hollow, nearly round, erect, but at times creeping and rooting at intervals in the lower portions, which are generally of a purple colour.

Most of the leaves spring directly from the ground, on long stalks, kidney-shaped, large and glossy. The stem-leaves have very short stalks and are more pointed at the top.

It flowers from mid-March till the middle of June, the flowers being at the end of the stems, which divide into two grooved flowerstalks, each bearing one blossom, from 1 to 2 inches in diameter. The Marsh Marigold is closely allied to various species of buttercups, but the flower has no real corolla, the brilliant yellow cup being composed of the five petaloid sepals.

The generic name is derived from the Greek calathos (a cup or goblet), from the shape of its flowers; the specific name from the Latin palus (a marsh), in reference to its place of growth.

The English name Marigold refers to its use in church festivals in the Middle Ages, as one of the flowers devoted to the Virgin Mary. It was also used on May Day festivals, being strewn before cottage doors and made into garlands.

Shakespeare refers several times to the flower, 'Winking Marybuds begin to ope their golden eyes.'

It has been called Verrucaria because it is efficacious in curing warts; also Solsequia and Sponsa solis because the flower opens at the rising of the sun and closes at its setting.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Every part of the plant is strongly irritant, and cases are on record of serious effects produced by rashly experimenting with it. Dr. Withering says:

'It would appear that medicinal properties may be evolved in the gaseous exhalations of plants and flowers, for on a large quantity of the flowers of Meadow Routs being put into the bedroom of a girl who had been subject to fits, the fits ceased.'

An infusion of the flowers was afterwards successfully used in various kinds of fits, both of children and adults.

A tincture made from the whole plant when in flower may be given in cases of anaemia in small, well-diluted doses.

The buds have occasionally been used as capers, but rather inadvisedly; the soaking in vinegar may, however, somewhat remove the acid and poisonous character of the buds in their fresh state.

The leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach.

The juice of the petals, boiled with a little alum, stains paper yellow, but the colour so produced is said not to be permanent.

---Cultivation---The Marsh Marigold is propagated by parting the roots in autumn. Itshould be planted in a moist soil and a shady situation. A double variety is cultivated in gardens.

Herb: Marsh Marigold

Latin name: Caltha palustris

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Medicinal use of Marsh Marigold??:

Every part of this plant is strongly irritant and so it should be used with caution. The whole plant is anodyne, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant and rubefacient. It has been used to remove warts and is also used in the treatment of fits and anaemia. The root is anti-rheumatic, diaphoretic, emetic and expectorant. A decoction is used in the treatment of colds. A poultice of the boiled and mashed roots has been applied to sores. A tea made from the leaves is diuretic and laxative. All parts of the plant can irritate or blister the skin or mucous membranes.




30 cm

(11 3/4 inch)


March to July

Habitat of the herb: Wet areas in marshes, fens, ditches and wet alder woods. Rare on very base poor peat.

Edible parts of Marsh Marigold: Root - must be well cooked. The raw root should not be eaten. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Flower buds - raw, cooked or pickled and used as a caper substitute. Eating the raw flower buds can lead to intoxication. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Young leaves - raw or cooked. The leaves are harvested in the spring as the plant is coming into flower and is used like spinach after cooking in two or more changes of water. Eating the raw leaves can lead to intoxication. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Older leaves, before the plant flowers, can be eaten if they are well cooked. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Other uses of the herb: A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers, a saffron substitute. It is used as a dye when mixed with alum, though it is not very permanent. Plants can be grown for ground cover when planted about 45cm apart each way.

Propagation of Marsh Marigold: Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in late summer. Stand the pots in 2 - 3cm of water to keep the soil wet. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15�C. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a tray of water in a cold frame until they are at least 15cm tall. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in early spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring.

Cultivation of the herb: Wet areas in marshes, fens, ditches and wet alder woods. Rare on very base poor peat.

Known hazards of Caltha palustris: The whole plant, but especially the older portions, contains the toxic glycoside protoanemonin - this is destroyed by heat. The sap can irritate sensitive skin.

A Dr. Withering wrote in the early 1900’s, “It would appear that medicinal properties may be evolved in the gaseous exhalations of plants and flowers, for on a large quantity of the flowers of meadow routs being put into the bedroom of a girl who had been subject to fits, the fits ceased.” Early colonists of the southern Appalachian region used the plant as an antidote to snake venom, and learned from Native Americans the trick of mixing the tea with maple sugar to make cough syrup.

More recently, the marsh marigold as well as many other plants in the family Ranunculaceae (the buttercups) has been found to contain a toxic compound called ranunculin. Ranunculin is an inert glycoside which is enzymatically converted to protoanemonin, an acrid, poisonous compound that may have some beneficial effect in fighting tumors. This compound acts as a skin irritant causing redness and blistering and potentially can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Chin J Nat Med. 2014 Aug;12(8):567-72. doi: 10.1016/S1875-5364(14)60087-X. Anthelmintic, antimicrobial, antioxidant and cytotoxic activity of Caltha palustris var. alba Kashmir, India. Mubashir S1, Dar MY1, Lone BA2, Zargar MI3, Shah WA4.

The methanolic extract obtained from the root portion of Caltha palustris var. alba was evaluated for its anthelmintic efficacy against gastrointestinal nematodes of sheep under both in vitro and in vivo conditions using worm motility inhibition (WMI) assay and fecal egg count reduction (FECR) assay, respectively. The extract was subjected to antimicrobial activity using agar-well diffusion method against different bacterial strains. In addition the extract was evaluated for cytotoxic and antioxidant activity against cultured THP-1(Leukemia), A-549 (Lung), HCT-15 (Colon), Cervix (HeLa) and PC-3(Prostrate) cell lines by SRB and DPPH radical scavenging assays. The extract used resulted in mean %WMI of 94.44%, as observed when the worms were put in lukewarm buffer for 30 min after exposure to different treatments. The mean mortality index of the sample was 0.95. The lethal concentration (LC50) was 0.11 mg·mL(-1). Cell lines were exposed to concentration of 100 μg·mL(-1) of extract for 48 h, which reduced the viability of these cell lines. The same plant extract also showed 55.58% DPPH radical scavenging activity.

Lipids. 1968 Jan;3(1):37-42. Caltha palustris L. Seed Oil. A source of four fatty acids withcis-5-unsaturation.

Smith CR Jr1, Kleiman R, Wolff IA.

The seed oil ofCaltha palustris L. yields two unusual polyunsaturated components, all-cis-5,11,14-eicosatrienoic acid (23%) and all-cis-5,11,14,17-eicosatetraenoic acid (1%). The C(18) monoene fraction (26%) is a mixture ofcis-5- andcis-9-octadecenoic acids (2ratio1). The C(20) monoene fraction (12%) is a mixture ofcis-11- andcis-5-isomers (3ratio1).

Caltha palustris basic info Scientific Name: Caltha palustris L..

Family: Ranunculaceae.

Genus: Caltha.

Common names in English: cowslip, kingcup, marsh-marigold, meadow-bright.

Description: Caltha palustris, known as marsh-marigold and kingcup, is a perennial herbaceous plant, native to marshes, fens, ditches and wet woodland in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. - for more info about Caltha palustris See link

Ethnobotanical and folk medicinal uses of Caltha palustris








*The information in this list is based on the ethnobotanical data in Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases.

Dr. Duke does not recommend using this information for self diagnosis or self medication. - See link

Caltha palustris in other websites

Caltha palustris common names, economics importance, distributional range and more in the USDA GRIN website - See link.

Search PubMed (US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health) for academic researches with the search term Caltha palustris - See link.

Planta Med. 1987 Feb;53(1):98-100.Triterpenoid Saponins from Caltha palustris.

Bhandari P1, Gray AI, Rastogi RP.

Three triterpenoid saponins, hederagenin-3- O-alpha- L-arabinopyranoside, oleanolic acid-3- O-alpha- L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1-->2)-alpha- L-arabinopyranoside and hederagenin-3- O-alpha- L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1-->2)-alpha- L-arabinopyranoside, have been isolated from CALTHA PALUSTRIS (Ranunculaceae). The structures were determined by spectroscopic analysis of the acetates.