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My wife and I recently moved into 1930`s house, I noticed a profussion of small ground covering plants with small green leaves with orange flowers in the border as I dug out some old rose bushes. As I lifted these small plants I noticed they have tubers like a bunch of grapes. That was during the summer and now the plants are back, they are spreading again in the border and are now appearing in the second and third row of paving bricks on my patio as well.

Help please to get rid of this nuisance.

Many thanks.

Any chance of a photo? The roots sound a bit like Oxalis - can you describe the leaves? 

Or how about Ficaria verna, Lesser Celandine? Although the flowers are yellow and appear in the spring - they were late this year, however. They used to be called Pilewort because the roots look like haemorroids!



Sounds like oxalis to me. ficaria are dormant now. A photo would confirm. 

Thank you for your responses. yes, haemorroids describe the roots perfectly, not that I would know you understand. But photos, yes of course, sorry.


 Hope you get these 3 photos, no flowers on now, but there were during summer.

Many thanks.



They are only small, do not grow tall and spread like mad.

Many thanks.


looks like ficaria, certainly not oxalis.

Mine have nothing to see at present, that's my only doubt. That and the orange flowers. golden yellow is what I would expect

See what others think


Celandine - real pest - all those little nodules on the roots break off and create more plants.

Have tried Roundup with some success but if it's the same as here it is a never ending routine. Now I dig and bin when I see them - carefuly as the root things break off, and if in a area I really don't want them I spray, but it is not easy avoiding plants

they come up in the middle of plants and everywhere

Sympathies aas they are  and make me 

All the same mine have yellow flowers , but the leaves and roots look the same as yours


Definitely the dread and beautiful Lesser Celandine. Ranunculus ficaria.

Translocatable weedkiller is the only solution and then you need to do it every time a leaf appears.

I like the plamt. We even grow a few different forms of it, white, double, green etc.

But yes the normal type really does spread.

There is an orange one


Yes, lesser celandine - it makes my heart glad when I see that golden glow beneath the trees in late winter   but I don't have it coming up in the cracks and crevices of my path 

Roger  Brook

No don't spray glyphosate (Roundup or other glyphosate product) as soon as a leaf appears. That is a waste of time as you need a good green top to kill it. You might manage to spray it twice in its short season but I agree that with it's tiny tubers it will take a year or two to kill it. I actually like it very much in the right place and a good thing about it is that it completely disappears for the year in mid June

I have the double variety and that seems to be sterile so doesnt self seed although I need to be careful not to spread the mini tubers about. I do like it as the flowers are a lovely rich yellow in the spring . I noticed  yesterday they have started to grow with a show of new shiny leaves, the seasons are haywire to a degree, in the next bed my dahlias are still flowering beautifully.

That orange one still looks yellow to me! I liked the ordinary wild type when I had it in a wild part of a previous garden, I just ripped it out when it threatened to take over. In paving or borders I would agree that glyphosate is the only real solution.

Incidently, this used to be Ranunculus but is one of the many plants that have been subject to a name change. Confusing!


the name changes are just to stop us getting complacent.

I'd missed the change from Ranunculus


I had missed it changing to Ficaria verna too.

More label writing!


I think it a pretty little flower, do the bees, butterfly or other insects visit the plant ?

if so' in my opinion it is worth keeping !


It's not a problem plant for me but if I was growing alpines and other tinies I would view it differently


It normally appears in the Spring so good for the early varieties of bumble bees.  Not sure why vegman's ones are flowering now but reading the forum shows lots of things are a bit "confused" this year including some of my blueberries which started flowering a few weeks ago.  The recent frost here has put a stop to that though and there are still lots of nice fat flowering buds ready for the "proper" flowering period next Spring.

I have a few lesser celendine in established borders which only need mulching and they're fine there.  You do not want these in a veg plot or anywhere else that gets regularly cultivated though as that will cause them to spread uncontrollably. 


That depends on how much salt you put on. A tiny amound on the leaf of the unwanted planyed would do little harm. Half a packet on the soil would leave it sterile for a long time.

Well, what can I say? Thank you, thank you for so many replies. I think Berghill has it, Celestine, Ranunculus ficaria. Yes the flowers were an orangie-yellow in colour when they flowered during summer. I am thinking of hiring a skip and digging the whole border out and to keep spraying the trench this will leave with a glyphosphate weedkiller, continuously until it stays clear. I am also thiking of sprinkling salt between my paving slabs and paving bricks on my front driveway. I`m not in a rush to have a lovely front garden and drive, I just want it to be weed (nuisance) free.

I`m also still willing to listen to further advice on my proposed action.