Greater Celandine

©Philip Precey

Greater Celandine

Scientific name: Chelidonium majus
Greater Celandine is a very common plant that spreads easily in the garden, on waste ground and in hedgerows. It is considered a weed, but the small, yellow flowers provide nectar for insects.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 90cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

April to October

About

Greater Celandine is a tall plant of woodland rides, hedgerows, roadsides and waste ground, and often grows as a garden 'weed'. Also known as the 'Celandine Poppy', it is a member of the poppy family, so is not related to the similarly named Lesser Celandine, which is a member of the buttercup family. Greater Celandine flowers from April to October.

How to identify

Greater Celandine is a tall plant. It has custard-yellow flowers, similar to those of a buttercup, but its petals do not overlap. It has strongly lobed, grey-green leaves. It could easily be confused with some members of the cabbage family.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The distinctive orange sap of Greater Celandine was historically used as a herbal remedy for warts.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try leaving wilder areas in your garden, such as patches of buttercups in your lawn or nettles near your compost heap, to see who comes to visit? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.