If you’re a lawn owner, then you know how crucial it is to maintain a healthy and beautiful lawn. However, there are always unexpected problems that pop up, and one of the most common is the presence of Celandine. In this article, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about Celandine, including where it’s found, its appearance, and whether it’s poisonous or not.
What is Celandine?
Lesser celandine (Ficaria verna subsp. verna) is a cheerful sight in spring with its shiny, buttercup yellow flowers and a good source of early pollen and nectar for pollinating insects. Although it is not a competitive weed, its persistent root tubers can make it unwelcome in some gardens where control options are limited.
This plant usually appears above ground in late February but is really evident from March through to May. Lesser celandine is a low-growing plant, rarely reaching more than 5cm (2in) in height.
It has glossy, heart-shaped leaves and bears shiny, bright-yellow flowers in March or April.
Where is Celandine found?
Celandine thrives in moist soils and can be found in many different habitats, including fields, forests, and along roadsides. It can also be found in lawns, where it can become a problem.
What does Celandine look like?
Celandine has distinctive characteristics that make it easy to identify. The plant has deeply lobed leaves that are light green in colour and have a waxy texture. It also has a thick stem that exudes an orange-yellow sap when broken. The flowers of the Celandine plant are bright yellow and have four petals.
Is Celandine poisonous?
While Celandine is not deadly, it can be toxic if ingested. The sap of the plant contains a substance called berberine, which can cause skin irritation and is poisonous when ingested in large quantities. Therefore advisable to wear gloves when handling the plant and to keep children and pets away from it.
How to get rid of Celandine?
Celandine can be difficult to get rid of, so it is best to see it as part of the cycle of your lawn. But if you do want to get rid of it, you will likely have to dig it out. Herbicides are not effective due to the waxy nature of the leaves.
One method that could be effective is to dig up the entire plant, including the roots. This can be challenging, as it grows from root tubers and spreads mainly by little bulbils which spread relatively quickly.
How to prevent Celandine?
Preventing Celandine from growing on your lawn is the best course of action. Maintaining a healthy lawn by regularly mowing, watering, and fertilising can help prevent the plant from growing by out competing it.
In conclusion, Celandine is a difficult weed to deal with but it only remains for around 8 weeks from March to May. Mowing the leaves and flowers off will partially control it in a lawn, but the only real way to get rid of it for good is to dig it out. By following the methods outlined in this article, you can maintain a healthy and beautiful lawn, free from Celandine and other invasive plants.