Celandine – Harbinger of Spring

rambling ratz

The lesser celandine, Ficaria verna (spring fig), are starting to flower on the damp, shady part of the lawn.Photo of Lesser Celandine about to Flower

They are a member of the buttercup family, toxic to most animals and considered to be an invasive weed. However, they are also said to be the first sign of the arrival of spring.  Indeed the vernal equinox in 2016 is on Sunday 20th March. It was also known as Pilewort by herbalists, so I shall leave you to guess what they used it to treat.

photo of lesser celandineWilliam Wordsworth’s favourite flower was not the daffodil, but the lesser celandine. There is a memorial plaque to Wordsworth in St Oswald’s Church, Grasmere.  On the one side of his likeness there is a daffodil and on the other …. a greater celandine, a different flower altogether! Ooooops! From his poem, « To the Small Celandine »:

« There’s a flower that shall be mine,
‘Tis the little…

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