May 26 2013

Orange Juice

Published by at 7:18 am under Plants,Schenley Park

Greater celandine in Schenley Park (photo by Kate St. John)

Last weekend at the Wissahickon-Botanical Society outing I learned something new about celandine.

Greater celandine (Chelidonium majus) is a perennial in the poppy family native to Europe and western Asia.  It’s quite common in Schenley Park in May where I misidentified it years ago as the native Celandine-poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) when I was new to wildflower identification.  The leaves are similar and the flowers are the same color, but that’s where the similarity ends … or so I thought.

It turns out that both plants have orange-yellow sap.  Dick Nugent broke off a leaf of greater celandine to show us.  (Chelidonium is non-native and sometimes invasive so it’s OK to do this.)

Here’s a broken leaf of greater celandine from Schenley Park yesterday.

Greater Celandine leaf showing orange sap (photo by Kate St. John)

Very orange juice!

(photos by Kate St. John)

One response so far

One Response to “Orange Juice”

  1. Peteron 26 May 2013 at 8:34 am

    This is so funky. The chemist in me wants to go figure out what’s in there. Someone likely already has so maybe that’ll be on my “to search for” list.

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