In Search of Marsh Marigolds

One of my all time favorite flowers blooms only in the very early spring. They can be found in swampy areas around the Grand Traverse region. Marsh Marigolds grow in wetlands and pop with the brightest of bright yellows.

Just when you think you can’t take the dullness of winter any longer, the marigolds bloom.  A true sign of hope and better things (and weather) yet to come.  If you live in a northern climate, you know what I mean.

This year with our record snow fall- it has been a true test for northern Michiganders. According to and the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a total of 266 inches of snow fell on these woods in Maple City this winter. And I know from the experience, not a lot of sunshine made it through all those snow clouds. Having lived through it, all I can say on this cloudy spring day is, “Thank God for Marsh Marigolds”.

They’re like a cool drink of water on a hot summer day.  Although in this case, a better analogy might be like a hot cup of cocoa on a cold winter day. But the glow of these flowers remind me more of the sun than hot cocoa.

Walt Whitman once said, “Some people are so much sunshine to the square inch.”  I say, “marsh marigolds are so much sunshine to the square inch”.

Marsh marigolds on the side of the road

Marsh Marigolds Caltha Palustris.


To me, they are hard to miss. But most people never see them. When you’re driving down the road- look through the woods for patches of bright yellow in low lying areas.

Marsh Marigolds Michigan

If they are there, and you’re looking for them, you’ll see them. The contrast of yellow and green stands out against the dull grays and browns of the northern Michigan post winter landscape.

Marsh Marigolds on the side of the road in Leelanau County

Marsh marigolds in Leelanau County

If only I had a pair of rubber waders in the car so I could get even closer! This is the best I can do with the camera I have and without getting soaked.

Marsh marigolds Leelanau County up close and personal

Aren’t they lovely? Tell me, where have you spotted marsh marigolds?



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