Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold by Jennifer Schlick
Marsh Marigold by Jennifer Schlick (click to see larger)

Caltha palustris

Nectar oozes from a pair of pits
beside each carpel in the crowded flower
variously known as water gowan
or meadow gowan, marsh
marigold or Marybuds,
water dragon, solsequia,
great bitterflower, king cups,
crazy bet or leopard’s foot,
May blobs or water blobs,
mollyblobs, pollyblobs,
cowlily or cowslip,
soldier buttons, palsywort,
water bubbles or water-goggles,
meadowbouts, capers,
water crowfoot, verrucaria,
gollins or the publican,
drunkards, gools.

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7 Comments


    1. All real, too! Helps that it’s native to England as well as the eastern U.S. , of course.

      Reply

        1. I’m not sure. “Cowslip” is the only one I’m positive is American, albeit reflecting nostalgia for a different, Old World flower.

          Reply

    1. Yes. For some of the plants in this series, I avoided mentioning any of the alternate common names, so as not to let them out-compete my own attempts at poetry.

      Reply

      1. Yes, those lists of names are already a kind of communal poem, made by many over a long time.

        Reply

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