Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) rah-NUN-kew-lus ficaria

Other Names Ranunclus ficaria, Lesser celardine
Family Ranunculaceae
Plant Data
I am a... Deciduous Perennial
Where to Find It Lesser Celandine can be found at the very south end of Crow Island Woods (and on the path leading between Sunset & Apple Tree), as well as at the edge of the woods along Euclid. There's a lot of it along the Hibbard Rd. drainage ditch, and you can also find it in a few yards in Winnetka.
How to Recognize It Lesser Celandine blooms in early spring with bunches of yellow (and sometimes white) flowers on a carpet of green heart-shaped leaves which grow dormant as the trees leaf out. It is very similar looking to the native Marsh Marigold which has the same shaped leaves, and same bright yellow color flowers. One difference when blooming: Lesser Celandine has 8-12 skinny petals, while Marsh Marigolds have 5-9 broad petals. When you're digging up Lesser Celandine, you'll note the roots have many nodules, while Marsh Marigold has thicker, fleshy roots.
Why to Like Where it has colonized, Lesser Celandine makes a lovely carpet of yellow flowers in early spring. Unfortunately, it's quite invasive, and the thick mound of leaves chokes out other understory plants, creating large monocultural areas. If you don't want your whole yard (or forest) taken over by it, remove it by digging up the plant and the small tubers from which new plants grow.
Mature Size 3 - 9 inches tall. 6 - 12 inches wide.
Sun Exposure Part Shade - Full Sun
Moisture Tolerance - Wet:
Zones 4a - 8b
Bloom Period March to May
Flower Color Yellow
 
Data Sheets
   In the Landscape Focused on the Plant Leaves Flowers Fruit Fall Leaf Winter Form
 
 

Photos: Google Image Search & Flickr

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