Greater celandine has an erect habit, and reaches 30 to 120 cm high. The leaves are lobed and wavy-edged, 30 cm long. The sap is a yellow to orange latex. The flowers consist of four yellow petals, each about 1 cm long, with two sepals. A double-flowered variety occurs naturally. The flowers appear from late spring to summer in umbelliform cymes of about 4 flowers. The seeds are small and black, borne in a long capsule. It contains a range of isoquinoline alkaloids but there are numerous therapeutic uses when used at the correct dosage.
It is native to Europe and western Asia and introduced widely in North America. It is considered an aggressive invasive plant in natural areas (both woods and fields). Control is mainly via pulling or spraying the plant before seed dispersal.