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Lesser celandine

(Ranunculus ficaria)

Lesser celandine © Trevor Dines/Plantlife

Lesser celandine © Trevor Dines/Plantlife

"There's a flower that shall be mine,
'Tis the little Celandine."

- William Wordsworth, "To the Small Celandine"


One of the first wildflowers to bloom, its pretty, golden stars often blanket the ground.

Where it grows

Woodland and hedge banks, particularly damp places.

Best time to see

Late February to May.

Cultural info

  • In the Language of Flowers it symbolises "joys to come".

How's it doing?


3 Things you may not know

  • Its the floral equivalent of the swallow: both reappear around the same time and herald the coming of spring. In fact 'celandine' comes from the Greek chelidon meaning 'swallow' and it traditionally first blooms on 21st February.
  • As a member of the buttercup family, it isn't closely related to the greater celandine (a member of the poppy family).
  • Wordsworth's favourite wild flower wasn't the daffodil - it was lesser celandine. He wrote no less than three poems about it: The Small Celandine, To the Same Flower and To the Small Celandine.

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