Lesser Celandine

Lesser celandine is one of the invasive species that the State of Maryland currently considers the most troublesome. Learn more below.

Lesser Celandine
Ernst Vikne, “Lesser Celandine,” October 1,
2010 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.


Lesser celandine is a delicate-looking flower that, according to the iVillage GardenWeb, has become invasive in the Mid-Atlantic states — including Maryland. Also known as the fig buttercup, lesser celandine has shiny, dark-green leaves and yellow flowers that bloom in March or April. It was introduced into the US as an ornamental and is still available for sale in many places.

The Threat

According to the iVillage Garden Web, lesser celandine emerges very early in the spring, well before the native plants with which it competes. This allows the lesser celandine to take over large areas, before the native plants have had a chance to emerge.

Control and Removal

The iVillage GardenWeb recommends treating lesser celandine with herbicides in late winter or early spring. Because lesser celandine looks very much like marsh marigold, a beneficial native plant, volunteers are advised to make sure they have identified the plants correctly before beginning treatment.