Ranunculus ficaria, commonly known as lesser celandine, Pilewort or fig buttercup, is a low-growing bulbous perennial herb. The word celandine is taken from the Greek word chelidon, meaning swallow. The Celandines are found throughout Europe.
Celandine is a common name for two species of flowers: They are Greater Celandine, which belongs to poppy family, and Lesser celandine, belonging to Ranunculus family. Celandines are seen as a thick carpet of gold where they are abundant.
The Celandine flowers have eight glossy, butter-yellow petals, arranged in a rosette form and are seen singly on delicate stalks rising above the leaves. The outer petals are 8-10 and inner petals are paired. And the centre of the flower has tiny flowers, which are very inconspicous. The Celandine flowers bloom in March and April.
Facts About Celandine
- Celandine Plant grows 2-6 inches in height.
- Celandine plant is shiny, with lustrous dark green leaves that form a rosette.
- Celandine leaves are kidney to heart shaped with smooth to coarse toothed edges.
- Celandine leaves and flowers arise on separate stems.
- The blossoms close before rain, and even in fine weather do not open before 9 a.m., and by 5 p.m. they are closed for the night.
- Celandine flowers are sometimes refered as spring messenger.
- The Celandine flowers are yellow, turning white as they age, and in shady places the leaves develop bulbils at the base of the stalk.
Growing Lesser Celandines
The celandine has several devices for propagation. Celandine flowers ripen into seed heads, but fertilization is poor. Since celandines are perennials they die back each year. The roots, bulbs, and tubers live and grow under the soil. These tubers store all the required energy for the plant through winter. When the spring comes, these tubers give out new leaves and flowers. Thus the celandine flowering plant spreads.
Caring for Lesser Celandine
- Any Water soluble fertilizers should be used every two weeks during the growing season.
- The plant should be provided full sunlight to grow to their full potential.
- The plant should be watered regularly.
- Protect the plants from spider-mites and other mites by using required pesticides.