There are three plants with yellow flowers called celandine in the British Isles: the Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus), the Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria), and the Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum). Over here on the other side of the pond, the lesser celandine is not nearly as common as other buttercups and isn’t mentioned much in North American wildflower literature (at least in my reading), so the Greater Celandine is just called Celandine. (Click on each photo to enlarge it and make the text easier to read.)
That’s confusing enough, but they look pretty similar, too, at least, when you don’t see them together. Celandine (Chelidonium majus), is native to Europe, not North America, and is generally regarded as a weed here. But when I look at it, I always mistake it for the Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum), a desirable North American native. Usually I figure out my mistake when I see another gardener cavalierly yanking out the Celandine while giving me a tour of their garden.
So, I had the Celandine growing in the Wall Garden bed facing the carriage barn. I looked at it and thought, “Oh, good, I’ve already got that native plant growing here where I want to plant all the other native woodland plants.” But I had the Celandine Poppy, the true native, growing in the shade garden at my old house, and I finally figured out I was coddling the impostor at the new house. When I dug up the native Celandine Poppy from the old house and brought it over to the new garden, I had a unique opportunity to photograph the two side by side.
As you can see, it’s not at all difficult to tell them apart when they are together, but when I haven’t seen the Celandine Poppy for a while, the Celandine looks enough like it to confuse me. After doing this little exercise, I doubt I will get them confused again. How about you?
Posted for Wildflower Wednesday, created by Gail of Clay and Limestone, to share wildflowers/native plants no matter where you garden in the blogasphere. “It doesn’t matter if we sometimes show the same plants. How they grow and thrive in your garden is what matters most. It’s always the fourth Wednesday of the month!”