Marsh Marigolds are beautiful plants. They grow very fast and they have many interesting features. These include their bright colors, which makes them stand out from other plants in your garden or landscape. Their leaves are long and slender with several leaflets at the top of each leaflet. Each leaflet is covered with tiny white flowers that look like little snowflakes when viewed through a magnifying glass.
The name “cattlelip” comes from the fact that these plants resemble cattle licks.
Cattlelips are native to Africa and Asia. They were introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages where they thrived in fields and pastures until they became invasive weeds. Today, they’re found throughout much of North America, but are most common along the East Coast of the United States.
They’re not really pests because they don’t spread easily and they don’t cause problems unless grown too close together. They do however tend to attract aphids and scale insects.
How To Grow Marsh Marigolds?
You can start growing marsh marigolds in spring if you’ve got some time before frost arrives. You’ll need a sunny spot with full sun, but not direct sunlight.
You can start from seeds, but it is easier to start from plants or root cuttings. You can also divide and transplant an existing clump.
Plant the root cutting about 2-3 inches deep. Or, plant seeds about 1 inch deep in the soil and keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
In two or three weeks you should see sprouts beginning to peek out of the soil.
Caltha Palustris is a wetland plant, but it also does very well in other soils. It prefers a neutral soil, but tolerates acidic or slightly basic soil. It doesn’t like salty soil or water, however.
It can handle short periods of drought, but does best with some water during the growing season. It’s a relatively low maintenance plant other than regular watering and feeding with compost in the fall.
The plant spreads slowly through creeping roots. If you want to increase your patch, just dig up a bit of soil with the creeping roots and transplant it to a new location.
Fertilize in the spring with a low nitrogen fertilizer. Do not use high nitrogen fertilizers as this causes lots of foliage but few flowers.
This is a good companion plant for tomatoes as it prevents some pests from attacking the tomato plants.
Expert planted a patch in his own yard to help keep some of the other plants healthy.
You can also use it to make tea that is good for soothing sore throats, i.e. gargle with it and rinse out your mouth.
Even the flowers can be eaten, but they have a strong flavor so only eat them raw if you’re sure they’re not poisonous. They can be used to make jelly or other cooked products.
In a survival setting, The flowers and leaves contain calcium, phosphorus, and small amounts of vitamin C, but are hardly the most efficient source of these nutrients. You’re probably better off eating the leaves of other plants that contain larger amounts of these nutrients in less volume.
However, Caltha Palustris can be a valuable resource for someone making a long journey by boat. It’s an ideal plant for keeping you fed and hydrated during a long trip.
The leaves and stems can be eaten either raw or cooked. Boiling removes some of the bitter flavor and makes it more palatable.
Due to its high water content, even under less than ideal conditions it will still provide hydration. It also takes a while to digest so it will keep your stomach from rumbling with hunger pains as quickly as other foods.
It’s easy to grow and has seeds that even a child could harvest and crush. It’s not ideal, but it’s one possible solution for a long journey where other foods may be scarce.
Other websites say this plant is mildly toxic, but I’m not sure of their source.
It is true that some species of Caltha are mildly toxic, but the ones in North America are not considered dangerous to humans.
The plant might be slightly toxic to some animals, such as horses, but not a significant hazard.
Some sources say that Caltha is potentially toxic to humans if taken in large quantities or if there is an allergic reaction. I have no information on what might constitute a large quantity.
There are also websites that claim if the plant is eaten in large quantities it can act as a contraceptive. This seems doubtful given what is known about it so far.
Suffice to say, you shouldn’t consider it a food source that you can rely upon. It’s just something you might want to know about in a survival situation. It’s ideal if you need something to quell your hunger or thirst but you’re ill-prepared and unable to catch anything edible.
These plants grow very close to the earth in shallow water along slow moving streams and rivers.
When young, the leaves are a dark green and somewhat oval shaped. As they grow upward they become more of an arrowhead shape.
The flowers grow in clusters at the top of the stem. Each flower is about an inch in diameter and a pale purple or pinkish color.
There are several different types of these plants, but the most common ones growing wild in Washington are Caltha palustris and Caltha leptosepala.
If any of you have ever been fishing in a lake that has wild and overgrown edges, there is a good chance you have seen this plant before.
Caltha plants are also edible and can be prepared the same way.
These mushrooms can be found in the same locations as the false morels. They are more common than the ones above and can easily be mistaken for the true morels by someone inexperienced with mushroom gathering.
They also have a tendency to spoil within hours of being picked unless properly prepared.
Like most other mushrooms, these contain small amounts of toxic compounds. They are not seriously harmful in the amounts consumed, but they can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
They have a fairly strong taste and should be cooked thoroughly to make them more palatable.
Are you serious?”
Carla asks when you approach her with your idea. “Because if you are, I’m not going to allow it.
I mean, what would the kids do without you around?”
“The kids will be fine,” you reply. “I’ve been teaching them how to survive in the wilderness, they’ll be just fine if they get lost. Besides, it’s a long way to the coast and there’s a good chance that we won’t run into any more mutants.”
And what happens if we do?”
“The same thing that would happen if we ran into a bear or a pack of wolves,” you say. “We attack and try to kill it…or them before they kill us.”
“I’m not talking about the mutants, I’m talking about the fact that you want to take my daughter with you on this trip.”
“That’s the whole point of this! It’s much safer if we all go as a group rather than just me venturing out there by myself. If I get killed, then the entire mission is doomed anyway. If you come with me, then at least you have a decent chance of returning alive to your family.
Plus, it will give you the chance to get to know your daughter a little bit.”
Carla sighs and sits down. You sit next to her and take her hand.
“Look, I know this is all pretty crazy, but we don’t know how long we have until the Van Hocs arrive. They could show up next week or next year for all we know. The longer we wait, the worse our chances are of surviving. Please, come with me.
I don’t like the idea of facing all this by myself either, so having you along will certainly make me feel a lot more secure.”
Carla says nothing for a moment and then speaks.
If I go with you, will you stop chasing after my daughter?”
!”, you say in surprise.
“It’s a simple question.
Will you stop hitting on her if I come with you?
I don’t want to have to worry about you two getting alone time while I’m off watching the kids.”
“That’s ridiculous. I would never…”
“Stop! Just stop right now. I know what’s going on and I’ve seen the way the two of you have been looking at each other. I don’t care if you’re both consenting adults, it’s just not going to happen.
It’s not appropriate.”
“But I love her!” you exclaim.
“Oh sure, now you’re ready to declare your love.
Well, I’ve been there and done that with you and it didn’t work out did it?
All you’ve got to do is look at her and know that it would never work out. She’s too young and impressionable for someone like you. She’s a good girl and I won’t have her corrupted just because you’re caught in the swell of passion.”
“Carla, you have no right to deny us our love!”
“I have every right. I’m her parent and you’ll not be deterred by some infatuation. Now I’ll tell you what. You win this little contest of ours and I’ll give my permission for the two of you to marry.
How about that?”
You stare at Carla in disbelief. She just offered you a sizable bribe if you could pull off winning this contest. Of course Carla probably has some fail-safe in there in case you actually win, which you doubt you will. She’s probably got the entire town rigged. Still, it’s possible if not likely that you could win by just killing or scaring off most of the population.
Influence Check: Carla = Success
Obviously Carla didn’t recognize just how much influence you actually do have over the people. You could easily incite a riot and take over the entire town. You doubt if Carla would have the guts to stand against you then and you’d take her life as well as spoils of victory.
Or you could just take your daughter and leave. Your trip to the next town is no less dangerous than this one will be and it would be much easier without having to worry about protecting an innocent along the way.
You could also just decline to participate. That would no doubt anger Carla, but it wouldn’t be her life at risk. You could always try to talk to Jennifer again later when things have calmed down.
“I’ll do it.”, you say.
, Jennifer says, obviously surprised by your quick agreement.
“Yes, I’ll do it on one condition. That you both agree to let me take my daughter to a safer place before the contest. No sense in putting her in danger.”
“Very well. I have no doubt you’ll see the wisdom of this and leave here without incident.”
“I doubt it. I’ll be by for her in the morning.”
You stand and prepare to leave and Carla speaks up again.
“Just one more thing.”, she says. “If you’re caught cheating in anyway, you will be put to death immediately.
Is that understood?”
You leave the tavern and head back to the inn where you quickly pack your belongings. The innkeeper approaches you and asks what’s going on. You quickly tell him that you’re being forced to relocate due to some unscrupulous bandits in the area and offer to pay for one more night. He agrees but tells you he hopes you’ll come back when it’s safe again.
“I don’t think I will.”, you say and leave.
You find Jennifer packing her things and explain that you’re leaving now. She seems a little surprised but doesn’t argue. You pick up your things and leave the inn. Outside, you find Jennifer’s wagon waiting and help her pack the remaining things.
After a few minutes, the two of you are on your way out of town.
Where are we going?”
, Jennifer asks.
“I thought we’d head Southeast to the Traven province. It’s far enough away that we should be able to stay there for a long time before we have to move again.”
Sources & references used in this article:
American medicinal plants: an illustrated and descriptive guide to plants indigenous to and naturalized in the United States which are used in medicine by CF Millspaugh – 1974 – books.google.com
Roadside use of native plants by B Harper-Lore, M Wilson – 2000 – books.google.com
A field guide to edible wild plants of eastern and central North America by L Peterson – 1977 – books.google.com
Use of plants for food and medicine by Native Peoples of eastern Canada by T Arnason, RJ Hebda, T Johns – Canadian Journal of Botany, 1981 – NRC Research Press
Bulletin No. 19: Inland Wetland Plants of Connecticut by WA Niering, RH Goodwin – 1973 – digitalcommons.conncoll.edu
Edible Plants of the Arctic Region by PC Standley – 1943 – books.google.com