[Page Content]| [Site Map]
[Accessibility]| [Contact Us]

Image of Knobbley's Bark

Lesser Celandine
Ranunculus ficaria

Photo of a lesser Celandine
The rich yellow flowers open with the Spring sunshine, often in such great numbers that they carpet with gold a woodland floor or hedge-bank.

NAME
Before the introduction of the binomial system of naming plants, The Lesser Celandine was known as Ranunculus foliis cordatis angulatis petiolatis, which meant ' the Buttercup with cordate (heart-shaped) leaves and angled petioles'. With the Binomial system, the names became much shorter, before this time each plant had as its name a short descriptive phase or sentence in Latin which had to memorised in order to refer to a particular species accurately.

HABITAT
Very common in damp, shady places; woods, hedgerows, grassy places, stream-banks

DESCRIPTION GENERAL
The heart-shaped leaves grow on long stalks. The solitary flowers are more numerous than the Buttercup, bright golden yellow, sometimes fading to white.

Type - perennial
Height - 50-250mm
Flowers - March-May

FLOWERS
Close up of top of Lesser Celandine Flowersingle at tip of stem, opening only on fine days
Colour - bright, glassy yellow, fading with age to nearly white at the petal base.
Size - 20-30mm
Stalk - much longer than flower
Bracts - absent
Petals - 8-12, narrowly oval
Type - hermaphrodite

STEMS, LEAVES and ROOTS

Stem - angled upwards, base rooting

Leaves - from base and spirally arranged around stem, 10-40mm, heart-shaped, blunt or rounded, edge shallowly toothed, base notched
Hairs - absent
Stipules - absent
Leaf-stalk - base broad, overlapping other stalks

Root - fibrous, with many small swollen tubers. Some plants have tiny swollen buds called bulbils where the leaves join the stems, and all plants have small tubers through which they are able to last the Winter.

Close up of the top of a Lesser Celandine flowerFLOWER CLOSE UP
Stamens - numerous
Stigmas - 1 per ovary
Sepals - 3, oval
Ovary - numerous, 1, celled

FRUIT
Type - many in rounded head, not opening, egg-shaped to globular, short beaked

Size - up to 2.5mm
Seeds - 1, not released

Valid XHTML 1.0!