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Ficaria verna

Common Name(s):
Fig buttercup, Lesser celandine
Categories:
Groundcover, Perennials
Comment:

Lesser celandine is in the Ranunculaceae family. It was introduced into North America and has naturalized in 19 states in the Northeast, the Pacific Northwest, and eastern Canada. In wild areas, plants  compete with native plants and wildflowers forming large, dense vigrous colonies that sometimes cover several acres of land. 

Flowers are easy to spot in the early spring.  After flowering, the plant foliage dies back by early summer as the plants go dormant.  Bulblets on above ground stems and underground tubers are the primary methods of propagation. Tubers resemble figs, hence the Latin name.  The spread of bulblets and tubers can be accelerated by such factors as animal digging and downstream flooding.

This plant was formally known as Ranunculus ficaria.

Insect, Disease, and Other Problems: No serious insect or disease problems. Slugs and snails may appear. When planted in a garden, plants tend to spread invasively into adjacent areas. Exercise caution in planting this perennial in the landscape. Some cultivars are reportedly less aggressive.

May be confused with: Caltha palustris and Geum radiatum

Consider Planting: Geum radiatum which is less invasive.

Season:
Spring, dormant in summer
Height:
.5'-.75' feet
Flower Color:
Yellow
Hardiness:
Zones 4-8
Foliage:
Glossy dark green, spreading rosettes, ovate-cordate, fleshy, up to 2” in length.
Flower:
Showy bright, buttercup-yellow blooms March to May. Flower stalks rise 8"-9" inches tall.
Habit:
Mounding
Site:
Prefers moist soil and partial shade.
Form:
Spreading
Propagation:
Bulblets, Tuberous roots
Exposure:
Prefers partial shade
Soil:
Medium to wet
Regions:
North America, Canada
Origin:
Europe, northwest Africa, southwest Asia
Growth Rate:
Fast
Tags:
naturalize, invasive, weedy, weed

NCCES plant id: 3154

Ficaria verna Whole plant
H. Zell, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Ficaria verna Flower
H. Zell, CC-BY-SA-3.0