Celandine – Harbinger of Spring

The lesser celandine, Ficaria verna (spring fig), are starting to flower on the damp, shady part of the lawn.Photo of Lesser Celandine about to Flower

They are a member of the buttercup family, toxic to most animals and considered to be an invasive weed. However, they are also said to be the first sign of the arrival of spring.  Indeed the vernal equinox in 2016 is on Sunday 20th March. It was also known as Pilewort by herbalists, so I shall leave you to guess what they used it to treat.

photo of lesser celandineWilliam Wordsworth’s favourite flower was not the daffodil, but the lesser celandine. There is a memorial plaque to Wordsworth in St Oswald’s Church, Grasmere.  On the one side of his likeness there is a daffodil and on the other …. a greater celandine, a different flower altogether! Ooooops! From his poem, “To the Small Celandine”:

“There’s a flower that shall be mine,
‘Tis the little Celandine.”



7 thoughts on “Celandine – Harbinger of Spring

  1. Great photos and post.
    To me, a good close-up nature photo, is one that makes me want to reach out and touch it and your first photo in this post does just that. It doesn’t have to be a ‘pretty’ flower fully opened, it can be just a bud, seed or even spent flower head. I like to think of it as being able to bring nature into the indoors (for those who can’t get outdoors).

  2. Pingback: Greater Celandine | rambling ratz

  3. Pingback: Bumblebees and Flowers | rambling ratz

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