Chelidonium majus L.
greater celandine (celandine; swallowwort)
Papaveraceae (Fumitory family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Robert Flogaus-Faust     (Photo ID #26228)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Chelidonium majus
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from a taproot and a somewhat woody stem-base; stems erect, branched, few, ribbed, sparsely hairy, 30-80 cm tall, with orange-coloured juice.
Basal leaves bright green above, blue-green and smooth beneath, blades broadly oblong to egg-shaped, pinnately divided to the midvein into round-lobed or toothed segments, 6-25 cm long, the stalks 2-10 cm long; stem leaves similar, alternate.
Inflorescence of umbrella-shaped clusters of 3-8 flowers on stalks 2-10 cm long; petals 4, bright yellow, oblong to egg-shaped, 0.8-1 cm long; sepals 2, 0.8-1 cm long.
Capsules, linear-cylindrical, 3-5 cm long; seeds black, pitted, with a white-crested appendage.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

Habitat and Range

Mesic to dry roadsides and fields in the lowland and montane zones; rare in SW and SC BC; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia