What is this plant? – Lesser celandine


This plant returns year after year and is slowly taking over the entire backyard. We did not plant it, but inherited it with the house. It has a small bulb attached to the bottom of it. How can I get rid of it?
Thanks for any info.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your inquiry.

It is usually very difficult to make an exact identification from a photograph. In your photo it is difficult to tell the exact floral structure or if the leaf petiole has a different colour.

The plant in question appears to be Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna subsp. verna). Lesser Celandine emerges very early in the growing season, blooms early, and goes dormant by mid-June to escape summer heat and drought.

If the clumps of this invasive weed are not too overwhelming they can be hand pulled. It is important to note that unless you get every last bit of the tubers or bulbets, they’ll flourish in the ground that you disturbed when digging the main plant. Unless you come back, year after year, to dig out the progeny, the end result will be more plants than before the soil was disturbed. This article provides information on this invasive weed.

The best method of keeping all weeds out of your yard is to have a thick, vigorous, and healthy lawn.

Improving the soil quality with the yearly addition of organic compost will aid in improving the quality of the soil and lawn.

We receive a number of questions asking for help with weeds in the lawn. If you just type “weeds” into the search bar on the right, you will see a number of our responses to earlier posts. One post titled I have the worst weeds ever, gives instructions on how to eliminate weeds using a technique called solarization as well as an excellent link to an article titled Tackling Weeds Organically.

Good Luck.