Weeds: Lesser celandine – Ficaria verna

categories: I-Po Weeds

revision date: 2024-06-22 08:13

  • Family: Ranunculaceae
  • Cycle: Perennial
  • Plant type: Broadleaf
Lesser celandine close-up with yellow flowers.
Lesser celandine close-up
Photo by: S. Campbell

Biology

Lesser celandine is a noxious weed. It is highly variable and has club-shaped, tuberous roots. The weed grows as a mounded rosette with basal and stem leaves and can be 16 inches tall. The leaves are medium to dark green, oblong, heart or triangular in shape and often with a paler underside. The leaf edges can be smooth or have rounded teeth. The flowers are typically yellow with 7-13 petals, about an inch in diameter, and solitary on stem tips.Lesser celandine can reproduce by movement of the tuberous roots or by the bulbils that form in leaf axils. SPECIAL INFORMATION: Lesser celandine can be confused with the native yellow marsh marigold (Caltha palustris). The yellow marsh marigold does not have tuberous roots, produce bulbils, and has only petal-like sepals.

Habitat

Lesser celandine can grow in woodlands, wetlands, along streambanks, in landscaped areas, and along roadsides.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Prevent its introduction. Do not plant lesser celandine or its cultivars.
  • Hand dig making certain to remove all plant parts. Bag and dispose of plant parts. Do not compost.
  • Do not mow as it can spread the bulbils and seeds.
  • Sheet mulch with a thick layer of wood chips (6 inches) to smother plants

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • Apply a systemic herbicide in late winter to spring to avoid damaging native herbaceous plants.

Landscape areas

  • glyphosate

Turf areas

  • No products approved for use in turf.

Bare ground areas

  • glyphosate

Additional Images