Lesser Celandine

APR. 20, 2020

Ficaria verna, commonly known as lesser celandine or pilewort, is a low-growing, hairless perennial flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae native to Europe and west Asia. It has fleshy dark green, heart-shaped leaves and distinctive flowers with bright yellow, glossy petals.

Ficaria verna, (formerly Ranunculus ficaria L.) commonly known as lesser celandine or pilewort, is a low-growing, hairless perennial flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae native to Europe and west Asia. It has fleshy dark green, heart-shaped leaves and distinctive flowers with bright yellow, glossy petals. It is now introduced in North America, where it is known by the common name fig buttercup and considered an invasive species.
The plant is poisonous if ingested raw and potentially fatal to grazing animals and livestock such as horses, cattle, and sheep.
For these reasons, several US states have banned the plant or listed it as a noxious weed.
It prefers bare, damp ground and is considered by horticulturalists in the United Kingdom as a persistent garden weed; nevertheless, many specialist plantspeople, nursery owners and discerning gardeners in the UK and Europe collect selected cultivars of the plant, including bronze-leaved and double-flowered ones. Emerging in late winter with flowers appearing March through May in the UK, its appearance across the landscape is regarded by many as a harbinger of spring.