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Lesser Celandine

Ficaria verna


Fig buttercup, also called lesser celandine and pilewort, is a perennial herbaceous flowering plant that completes its life cycle during the winter and spring. Plants consist of a basal rosette of tender, succulent, dark green, shiny, stalked kidney- to heart-shaped leaves. Flowers are symmetrical, bright buttery yellow with a slightly darker center, have 8 (typical) to 12 petals, and are borne singly on delicate stalks that rise above the leaves. Tiny cream colored bulblets are produced in stem axils and become apparent later in the flowering period. Abundant fingerlike tubers are produced by the roots and are easily visible when plants are pulled up. Fruiting heads are globose composed of many achenes that are pubescent and usually abortive. When in bloom, large infestations of lesser celandine appear as a green carpet with yellow dots, spread across the forest floor. There are many varieties of lesser celandine including a double-flowered form with many petals and dark green leaves mottled with silvery markings.


low open woods, floodplains, meadows and waste places and seems to prefer sandy soils.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Lesser Celandine
Ranunculus ficaria Lesser celandine

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Akimz 11 years ago


We would love to have this spotting be a part of our mission on the distribution of native and invasive look-alike buttercups. The marsh marigold looks similar to the lesser celandine and many people get them confused. Feel free to join!

keithp2012 12 years ago

Thank You

Psilo 12 years ago

The leaves and colors very much resemble the yellow violet but there are way too many petals (only 3 but still!) and they're not in the correct formation. Maybe you could look into some look-alikes of the flower. :) nice shot!

Spotted by

West Babylon, New York, USA

Spotted on Apr 5, 2012
Submitted on Apr 5, 2012

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