This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
On April 19th I made a trip to Chew's Landing, Camden County, N. J., which is about seven miles from Camden. In company with Mr. P. H., I took a walk to " Pine Creek," which flows through that section of the country, and empties into the Delaware. It is also influenced by the tide. My attention was attracted by a beautiful yellow flower, on the opposite side of the creek. The sun was just setting, and the soft rays beamed through the dormant shrubs on the flowers which were half hidden amongst them. I was naturally anxious to find out what it might be; but as the creek at this point is about twenty or thirty feet wide and quite deep, how to reach my object was a puzzle. We walked along the creek some distance, hoping to find a suitable crossing place, without finding any. We were about to give up, when, on our return, we discovered a rude boat, made fast by a chain and padlock to a cedar tree. After some hard work, we succeeded in getting the lock undone. My friend Mr. H. improvised a fence rail for an oar, and pushed right and left until we reached the opposite bank. We fastened our boat and waded through six inches of mud and water, until we reached our treasure, which proved to be a splendid specimen of the marsh marigold, Caltha palustris.
I felt rewarded, however, as my plant had over forty fully expanded flowers. I have not seen it for about eleven years, and then only a small piece. Mr. Josiah Hoopes and I found it about two miles north of West Chester, Pa. The flower I have added to my little herbarium. This plant may be common to many older botanists in their days, but like the Obolaria, and, I might have added, many others, it seems to be gradually disappearing. In some parts of Germany, the leaves of the Caltha are used as greens. There it is known by the name of Sumpf dotter blume. Sumpf, swamp; dotter, from the yolk of an egg. Laurel Hill, Philadelphia.
[Caltha palustris is occasionally found along the small streams which flow into the Wissahickon, near Philadelphia. It is singular that it does not spread more, seeing that it is at least able to maintain its ground, but we do not think it is any more abundant now in the cited localities, than it was twenty years ago. As our correspondent suggests, there is evidently something that is not clear, operating against its distribution these latter times -Ed. G. M].