Page author: David Giblin
Ficaria verna
lesser celandine

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to Oregon, also in eastern North America.

Habitat: Disturbed areas generally at low elevations, often where seasonally moist in the spring.

Flowers: April-May

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous, herbaceous perennials from tuberous roots, the stems decumbent or erect, not rooting nodally; bulbils sometimes formed in leaf axils.


Leaves alternate, the basal simple and undivided, the blades cordate, deltate or semi-circular, 1.8-3.7 cm. long and 2-4 cm. wide, glabrous, the margins entire or wavy, the tips obtuse.


Flowers solitary on long peduncles; sepals green, spreading, saccate at the base, 4-9 mm. long and 3-6 mm. wide, glabrous; petals yellow, 10-15 mm. long and 3-7 mm. wide; heads of achenes hemispheric, 4-5 mm. tall and 6-8 mm. wide; stamens numerous.


Achenes about 2.7 mm. long, pubescent, without a beak.

Accepted Name:
Ficaria verna Huds.
Publication: Fl. Angl. (Hudson) 214. 1762.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Ranunculus ficaria L. [FNA3, HC]
Ranunculus ficaria L. ssp. bulbifera (Marsden-Jones) Lawalrée
Ranunculus ficaria L. ssp. calthifolius (Rchb.) Arcang.
Ranunculus ficaria L. var. bulbifera Albert [KZ99]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Ficaria verna in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Ficaria verna checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Ficaria verna atlas page.

CalPhotos: Ficaria verna photos.

USDA Plants: Ficaria verna information.

27 photographs:
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