(Caltha natans)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Caltha natans
Ranunculaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    Used in the treatment of sore throats[174].

  • Edible Use

    Root – cooked. A survival food, used when all else fails[172]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

    Flower buds – cooked. Added to stews etc or pickled as capers[172]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

    Young leaves – cooked. Best before the plant flowers[172]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

  • Cautionary Notes

    The whole plant, but especially the older portions, contains the toxic glycoside protoanemanin - this is destroyed by heat[172]. The sap can irritate sensitive skin[172].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in late summer[200]. Stand the pots in 2 – 3cm of water to keep the soil wet. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 15¡c[138]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a tray of water in a cold frame until they are at least 15cm tall. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in early spring or autumn[200]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring.
A plant of boggy soils and shallow pond margins[1], it requires a deep rich slightly acidic soil[200]. It grows well in heavy clay soils. It has slender floating or creeping stems that root at the nodes to form new plants[235]. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[54].
North-western N. America – Alaska to Canada. E. Asia – N. China, Mongolia, Siberia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.