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


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.


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