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Fig. 4.7 Caltha palustris – Marsh Marigold

Fig. 4.7 Caltha palustris – Marsh Marigold

8” x 8” Acrylic/Mixed Media on paper.

Saskatchewan is a province of extremes – cold winters, hot summers, broad horizons and expansive skies. The plants and animals that are native to this place, have been tested by Mother Nature and developed an amazing array of coping strategies to survive their environment. The six pieces in this collection explore a few of Saskatchewan’s many wildflowers and their relationship with the world around them. Unlike many tropical flowers, Saskatchewan wildflowers are small–tiny even. You must get out of your car, and sometimes even down on your knees if you want to see them. But their ability to adapt to and thrive in our harsh climate is astonishing, their symbiotic relationships with insects, astounding. There is inspiration and profound meaning to be had, if only we take the time to look closely.

This lovely prairie flower probably has more common names than any other – I found 26 names. Unlike many Sask. wildflowers, the Marsh Marigold is one of the few plants that can grow in damp, shady and marshy locations or beside small streams. Although it is not a true marigold, this name comes from the Middle Ages where such yellow flowers were devoted to the Virgin Mary, hence the name “Mary’s Gold.” Another name – “marsh gold,” is a reference to the Anglo-Saxon word for marsh, “mere.” The name “gowan” is the Old Norse word for “gold.” One old English name “Drunkards” comes from the belief that the scent of the flower encouraged drunkenness because the plant seemed to drink so much water. Credit to John Moore, a 20th C. British novelist, for the line, “So shiny the bees can see their faces in them.”


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