Ficaria verna flowers. Getty Images

Ficaria verna subsp. verna

Lesser celandine

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does flower in February

Plant does flower in March

Plant does flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does not flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

  • Botanical name: Ficaria verna subsp. verna
  • Common name: Lesser celandine
  • Family: Ranunculaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial, Deciduous
Flower colour:

Yellow

Foliage colour:

Green

Ficaria verna subsp. verna (lesser celandine) is small, low-growing perennial from the buttercup family. A British native, it has yellow, star-shaped flowers in spring, and dark green, rounded glossy leaves. The young leaves are rich in vitamin C and can be eaten in salads.

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Ficaria verna subsp. verna can be found growing in areas that have damp shade – in woodland, under hedges and along the banks of streams. It also often pops up in gardens. It’s one of the first flowers to appear after winter, and is a good nectar source for early pollinators, including queen bumblebees that are emerging from hibernation.

Some gardeners view Ficaria verna subsp. verna as a weed – it can be invasive, spreading via underground root tubers. If it is overtaking your borders, you can try digging it out before it flowers, but you need to be thorough, otherwise the problem will persist. If it’s growing in your lawn, frequent mowing may weaken the plant. However if you have an area of the garden where you are happy to let it grow, such as under a hedge or on a bank, it can be an attractive ground cover plant.

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Many garden cultivars of celandine, such as Ficaria verna ‘Brazen Hussy’ are available.

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Advice on buying Ficaria verna subsp. verna

  • Lesser celandine is not a plant for a border – grow it under a tree or hedge or on a bank
  • Ficaria verna subsp. verna is often sold ‘in the green’ in spring, or as bulbils in autumn
  • You’re likely to find to find lesser celandine for sale from online wildflower suppliers. Garden cultivars are also available

Where to buy Ficaria verna subsp. verna

How to grow Ficaria verna

  • Plant size

    5cm height

    15cm spread

  • Aspect

    North facing, east facing

  • Sun exposure: Dappled shade, full shade
  • Shade type: Damp
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Clay / heavy / moist

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does flower in February

Plant does flower in March

Plant does flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does not flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Ficaria verna and wildlife

Ficaria verna is known for attracting bees, beneficial insects and other pollinators. It has nectar/pollen rich flowers.

Attractive to Bees

Attractive to Beneficial insects

Does not attract Birds

Does not attract Butterflies​/​Moths

Attractive to Other pollinators

Is Ficaria verna poisonous?

Ficaria verna has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People