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Chelidonium majus

Chelidonium majus L.

 

Greater Celandine, Celandine

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassMagnoliidaeIncludes magnolias, nutmeg, bay laurel, cinnamon, avocado, black pepper, and many others
OrderPapaveralesA group that includes buttercups and other poisonous plants
FamilyPapaveraceaePoppy family
GenusChelidoniumFrom Greek chelidon, “swallow,” because it was believed that C. majus flowered when the swallows nest during summer
Speciesmajus“Bigger, larger”

About plant names...

This native of Eurasia was introduced to North America, where it is now widespread.

Identification: Greater celandine reaches 18-24" (45-60 cm) in height. Leaves contain an irritating yellow-orange sap. Leaves are up to 6" (15 cm) long and 3" (7.6 cm) wide, green with a slight bluish tint. Seed capsules look like thin beans, 1-2½" (2.5-6.3 cm) long, with black seeds. These can be confused with Stylophorum diphyllum, (celandine poppy), but seeds of the celandine poppy are oval in shape, about 1" (2.5 cm) long, densely hairy, and divided into four segments. Greater celandine cannot be confused with lesser celandine.

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

From Thomé, Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm, Flora von Deutschland Österreich und der Schweiz., 1885.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones Stem juice is toxic and extremely irritating and allergenic. Paralysis, nausea, vomiting, coma, respiratory tract irritation, violent coughing, ulcers, and dyspnoea have been attributed to this plant.[1]. More recently, it has been implicated in liver disease as well.[2]

Medical: Greater celandine has been used for many different medical purposes historically (see footnotes 1 and 2), but I don’t believe any of these uses have been confirmed with research.

Online References:

Chelidonium majus on Ontario Wildflowers

Chelidonium majus at Illinois Wildflowers

Chelidonium majus from all-creatures.org

Chelidonium majus on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Chelidonium majus on CalPhotos

Chelidonium majus at Minnesota Wildflowers

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

The sap is bright orange. · 7/17/2013 · Near Nashua River Boat Ramp, Groton, MA
≈ 2 × 1½" (5.1 × 4 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

5/12/2016 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

8/14/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, MA
≈ 6 × 6" (14 × 15 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

7/27/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 4" (9.3 × 10 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

5/20/2014 · Beaver Brook Assn Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, NH
≈ 5 × 8" (12 × 19 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

5/13/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 3 × 4" (8 × 11 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

2/11/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 15 × 10" (39 × 26 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

8/14/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, MA
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm) ID is uncertain

1For details, see Plants for a Future

2Henriette’s Herbal Homepage

Chelidonium majus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 30 May 2016.

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Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

5/12/2016 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

7/17/2009 · Mt. Lebanon St, Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

5/12/2016 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

4/30/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

5/17/2013 · Gibbet Hill, Groton, MA
≈ 31 × 39" (79 × 98 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

5/12/2016 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

5/20/2014 · Beaver Brook Assn Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, NH
≈ 8 × 6" (20 × 14 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

4/20/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, Pepperell, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

4/6/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 24 × 16" (62 × 41 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

7/17/2009 · Mt. Lebanon St, Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 35 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

8/14/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm) ID is uncertain

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

9/27/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 14" (23 × 35 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

5/12/2016 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

5/2/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine, Celandine)

4/22/2015 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH
≈ 7 × 6" (17 × 14 cm)

Range:

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