May 26 2013
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.
Very orange juice!
(photos by Kate St. John)