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Celandine

Chelidonium majus L.

Celandine
Figure 37.—Celandine (Chelidonium majus)
Other common names.—Chelidonium, garden celandine, greater celandine, tetterwort, killwart, wart flower, wartweed, wartwort, felonwort, cockfoot, devil's-milk, Jacob's-ladder, swallowwort, wretweed.

Habitat and range.—Celandine is found in rich damp soil along fences and roadsides near towns from Maine to Ontario and southward. It is common from southern Maine to Pennsylvania.

Description.—This erect, branched, sparingly hairy herb is from 1 to 2 feet in height, with thin leaves 4 to 8 inches in length, which have a grayish-green appearance and are deeply and variously cleft. The small, sulphur-yellow flowers are produced from April to September, followed by smooth, slender capsules containing numerous seeds. The plant contains an acrid, yellow juice and when bruised has an unpleasant odor.

Part used.—The entire plant, collected when it is in flower.


Sievers, A.F. 1930. The Herb Hunters Guide. Misc. Publ. No. 77. USDA, Washington DC.
Last update March 18, 1998 by aw