E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Robert Flogaus-Faust  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #26228)

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Distribution of Chelidonium majus
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Species Information

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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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

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

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References