Woodland Trust

Nature's CalendarNature Detectives

Bluebells are just starting to flower

Lesser celandine. Margaret Bartonlesser celandine

Ranunculus ficaria


Why not download our lesser celandine fact sheet?

 lesser celandine fact sheet

One of the first woodland flowers of the year
  • The flowers are shiny yellow with eight to twelve petals
  • The leaves are glossy, dark green and heart-shaped
     lesser celandines. Richard Becker

Where found

Damp woodland paths and tracks as well as on stream banks and in ditches. It grows well in the shade of hedgerows too.

When to look for

  • It’s a perennial herb, flowering from late February to May - view live map

Fabulous lesser celandine facts

  • Also known as pilewort, as it was used to treat haemorrhoids

  • The Celts called it Grian (sun) as its petals close up before rain

  • Its leaves are high in vitamin C and were used to prevent scurvy

  • The poet Wordsworth was so fond of lesser celandine flowers that he had them carved on his tomb

  • Found throughout Europe and West Asia, it is now introduced into North America

  • According to the Oxford English Dictionary, celandine comes from the Latin chelidonia, meaning swallow - it was said that the flowers bloomed when the swallows returned