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Lesser celandine (Ficaria verna)

Lesser celandine Common Names: Fig buttercup, Pilewort

Description: Lesser celandine are common garden plants.

Habit: Herbaceous ephemeral perennial growing from tuberous roots; 10-30 cm (4-12 in) tall; may form a continuous carpet. Emerges well before native ephemerals.

Leaves: Kidney or heart-shaped; shiny, dark green in color; formed in a basal rosette, long stalked, blunt, often with bulblets in the axils; lower leaves opposite.

Stems: Erect; cream bulblets produced in stem axils.

Flowers: Bright yellow with a slightly darker center on single stalks above leaves; usually 8 petals but may have up to 12; 1 in wide; 3-4 green sepals, narrowly oblong with wider tips; blooms March to April.

Fruit and seeds: Dry, hairy seeds held in round heads.

Habitat: Native to Europe. Found in floodplain forests, wet meadows, old fields and roadsides.

Reproduction: Primarily by bulblets and finger-like tubers, tubers may also be moved by floodwaters, animals or in soils.

Similar species: Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris), a native relative , Wood / Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum), and Greater celandine (Chelidonium majus).

Monitoring and rapid response: Hand-pulling or dig up for small infestations; effectively controlled using any of the several readily available general use herbicides such as glyphosate.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, the Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium and the US Forest Service.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Lesser celandine

Scientific Name:

Ficaria verna







USDA Symbol:


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