Lucy Corrander's picture

Large Lesser Celandine?

Observed: 25th March 2013 By: Lucy CorranderLucy Corrander’s reputation in PlantsLucy Corrander’s reputation in PlantsLucy Corrander’s reputation in Plants

Leaves seem rather large for celandine (about two inches across). Stems rather tall (four inches). None of the flowers yet open. (Not sure if this is because they aren't ready yet or because the light is consistently too low.) But if it isn't a celandine . . . what is it?
On bank with hawthorns.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) interacts


IWoodward's picture

Ficaria verna

Note that the current scientific name for Lesser Celandine is Ficaria verna (it was changed fairly recently).

It looks like Lesser Celandine - they do seem to vary in size and one or more different subspecies have been introduced to the UK. At least one of these is considerably larger than the usual native subspecies so it could be this.


markwilson's picture


Is ssp ficariiformis possible as a large subspecies?


IO think there was an article in either BSBI News or Watsonia also

Lucy Corrander's picture

Size of celandine and name

Hi, I.Woodward and Mark.

Name of celandine - I was planning to put Ficaria verna but the iSpot thingy came up saying Ranunculus ficaria so I thought I should stick with that!

In a hurry just at his moment but will return to follow the sub-species link. Went back to the plant today - and others near it. They are bigger even than I say in the description - with stems of six inches.

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Chris Metherell's picture

Ficaria verna

subsp. ficariiformis and subsp. chrysocephala both have very large flowers, although the first is sometimes a little larger (petals up to 26mm long as opposed to up to 25mm )but in the latter the petals are usually wider (9-15mm as opposed to 4-12mm) there's some overlap but petal width is perhaps the best way of separating them at this time of year. Later, when the bubils (if any)have had time to develop it's easier - subsp. ficariiformis produces bubils in the leaf axes and subsp. chrysocephala doesn't. The other useful character is that subsp. chrysocephala tends to have erect flowering stems and subsp. ficariiformis is much more straggly.

Chris Metherell
BSBI VC Recorder
North Northumberland

Lucy Corrander's picture

Flower size etc.

Thanks Chris. This group of celandines is not far from my house so I'll easily measure the flowers when they open. Remembering to watch for bulbils will be a little more challenging! (Though there does seem room for confusing overlap.)

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