Caltha leptosepala var. leptosepala

White marsh-marigold or mountain marsh-marigold is an early bloomer on local mountains (this photograph is from June 26). Other plants in flower at the time on Mt. Cheam included violets, Erythronium grandiflorum, Phlox diffusa, Potentilla flabellifolia and Saxifraga oppositifolia. In British Columbia, this taxon is found at elevations ranging from 1300-1900m, with a preference for a southern exposure.

Caltha leptosepala var. leptosepala is one of two varieties recognized in E-Flora BC. The other is Caltha leptosepala var. biflora. However, the Flora of North America lumps the two together as Caltha leptosepala, and describes the taxon as “morphologically complex”.

Intriguingly, this is one of the few members of the buttercup family that has a historical use of being eaten raw (most members of the family are poisonous). Plants of Coastal British Columbia notes that “the leaves and flower buds were eaten raw or cooked by Alaskan native people”. The book also makes mention of the roots being boiled and appearing like sauerkraut (no mention of taste is given).

Caltha leptosepala var. leptosepala
Caltha leptosepala var. leptosepala

8 responses to “Caltha leptosepala var. leptosepala”

  1. kate

    oh my goodness this is so beautiful!

  2. elizabeth a airhart

    thank you daniel for your fine photos
    i can feel the wind and the waves
    i just came back from a web site called
    vancouver trails a number of you tube
    films to see where you were and
    how you got there quite a trip
    nature is the best carpet maker af all time
    the little insect? made a fine landing
    thank you

  3. Cambree

    Cute little flowers. I wonder if they make tea with them too.
    Is that snow I see on the edge of the photo? Very neat.

  4. MsWinterfinch

    Cute flower and most unusual photo of water, flowery strand and clouds. It looks like they are growing on the edge of the mountain or a waterfall… intriguing,

  5. Connie

    Those clouds are snow. Isn’t that amazing? Tea, don’t know, but the marsh marigolds are edible, aren’t they?

  6. lindsay

    That must have been amazing to find! Wonderful, the flowers look like a trail left by the receding snow.

  7. Kathleen

    Here in Illinois we have the yellow-flowered Caltha palustris, which has more of an upright habit, to catch more of the sunlight in the wet flatwoods and woodland edges it inhabits here. It is interesting to see the morphological and bloom time differences between the two species. Here in the Chicago area C. palustris blooms in April! – KMG

  8. beverley bowhay

    you might be thinking of Marsh tea which is also called Labrador tea ledum latifolium. aren’t most flowers edible?

Leave a Reply