Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)


A spring ephemeral, perennial and aggressive ground cover.  Yellow spring flowers have 8 petals.  Glossy leaves.  It forms dense spreading masses, through underground bulblets/tubers.

It must not be confused with our (wonderful) native Marsh Marigold, which does not form dense mats, and whose flowers have 5 to 9 petals (actually sepals).   Marsh Marigold does not have bulblets/tubers.


It spreads into broad carpets and prohibits native species from growing.


Control efforts must take care first of all to identify the plant correctly, and to ensure that the bulblets are not spread further by pulling or digging without removing the bulblets.

It is an ephemeral so is best removed in spring when flowering before it disappears.

Links and Resources

For more information on how to identify and control Lesser Celandine, please refer to the resources below:

  1. New York Species Information for identification
  2. Invasive.org for identification
  3. University of Maryland Extension for identification and control