CALXHA Kingcup, Marsh Marigold

Caltha is a water lover, and so it is only suitable for marshy or boggy ground. Plant it by the poolside or in shallow water, but never in a herbaceous border which dries out in summer. The dark green heart-shaped leaves have serrated edges and in spring the flowers appear. These golden heads, 1 to 2 in. across, are carried on branching stems above the leaves. They are free-flowering, providing asplash of bright colour for many weeks. If the planting site is above water level it will be necessary to ensure that the ground is kept constantly moist.

VARIETIES: The basic species, C. palustris, grows wild as an aquatic plant in Britain. Its details are height 1 ft. Spacing 1 ft and

Flowering period: April-June. The single flowers are golden yellow and there is a white variety ‘Alba’ which may be more unusual but is also more unreliable and less free-flowering. Best of all is the double-flowering form ‘Plena’ or ‘Flore Pleno’.

SITE AND SOIL: An organic-rich, moist soil is essential – thrives in sun or partial shade.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps immediately after flowering has finished.

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