It was popular in the past for providing vitamin C to otherwise scurvy-prone people. The Lesser Celandine is distinguished from the Buttercup by having nine or ten, even sometimes a dozen narrow petals, instead of five, and only three sepals (the outer, generally green leaves of the flower), which fall off on opening, instead of the usual five, which remain after the flower has expanded, in the other species of Ranunculus. Primrose This plant wants to live! Now, you may be thinking “Oooh, pretty buttercups.” But this plant has some nasty habits that are destroying native spring ephemeral wildflowers. It is only edible before flowering, and when cooked. I had always thought celandines were poisonous until Mandy mentioned them last spring in her blog post on the edible lawn.It's important to note that the plant we're talking about here is the lesser celandine, Ranunculus ficaria, not the greater celandine, Chelidonium majus, which most definitely is poisonous and is completely unrelated to the lesser celandine. Lesser Celandine. 7. The fig buttercup, also known as the lesser celandine or pilewort, is a non-native plant from Europe and Northern Africa that has the potential to become a very bad invasive species in South Carolina. Reply. The first is a stockpile of underground tubers produced in the spring that are used to store carbohydrate shipped down from the leaves during their brief spring appearance. It spreads effectively and can produce carpets of yellow flowers under trees, on shaded hedge-banks and in woodland. One of these is Ranunculus ficaria (Lesser Celandine, Fig Buttercup). Lesser celandine is sometime applied directly to the skin for bleeding wounds and gums, swollen joints, warts, scratches, and hemorrhoids. Lesser Celandine This plant is best eaten before it flowers, and should be cooked first because it contains protaonemonin, which is a toxic compound that is destroyed by heat. Ficaria verna, (formerly Ranunculus ficaria L.) commonly known as But the leaf, as you can see above, is very similar. Lesser celandine (Ficaria verna) is a one such “spring ephemeral”—a term typically reserved for the native woodland plants that come and go in this narrow window of time, including many delicate beauties like trout lily and trillium. ... and edible plant beds. Stephen Jones. It’s a great source of Vitamin C, but use it before it flowers and make sure to dry it or cook it before eating it as it contains a toxic compound that is destroyed by heat. You’ll find it especially on wet sandy soils, in both shaded woodlands, and open areas. Lesser Celandine is a useful plant for shaded areas to provide colour during spring where little else will grow. Don't confuse greater celandine with lesser celandine (Family: Ranunculus ficaria). Lesser celandine has three effective secret weapons for survival and spread. The seeds develop into little tubers, storing extra food for the plants growth within shaded areas where light is limited. Lesser celandine is toxic, when eaten raw or after the plant flowers. The leaves appear in late winter, forming a dense mat which prevents the growth of almost every other plant. April 19, 2020 at 8:15 am. The flower of lesser celandine looks very different from violet, it's yellow and star-shaped.