Chelidonium majus (Celandine)
|Also known as:||Greater Celandine|
|Habitat:||part shade, shade; woods, thickets, roadsides, waste areas, fields|
|Bloom season:||May - August|
|Plant height:||12 to 30 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: UPL NCNE: UPL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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3 to 8 stalked flowers in a flattish cluster at the end of stems that arise opposite a leaf. Flowers are about ¾ inch across with 4 yellow petals and numerous yellow stamens surrounding a stout green style that elongates to rise above the stamens. A pair of narrow green sepals behind the flower typically drop off when the flower blooms. A plant has several to many clusters on branching stems.
Leaves are both basal and alternate, compound in groups of 5 to 9, up to 8 inches long and 3 inches wide, becoming smaller as they ascend the stem. Leaflets are up to 1½ inches long and 1 inch wide, mostly hairless, shallowly lobed to cleft with irregular rounded teeth or notches around the edges. Color is blue-green to green. Stems are ribbed, often covered in long white hairs near the base, especially the first year, and more sparsely hairy in the upper part of the plant. Stems exude a yellow to orange sap when broken.
The sap can be very irritating to skin and eyes. Celandine does not appear to be very widespread in Minnesota (yet), but has become a serious pest plant in parts of Wisconsin, where it is a prohibited species. It is only a matter of time before it gets a bigger foothold here. I have no doubt it is under reported, as there are no official records in the counties where these images were taken. Celandine resembles Stylophorum diphyllum, a native poppy found in states farther south and east, which has flowers up to 2 inches across and fruit in hairy ovoid capsules.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Anoka County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Aitkin County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?