Help with identification?

charmedMarch 13, 2012

Hello. I am trying to identify a very common little wildflower. It grows along streams and in wet places -- I live in Baltimore City and there is a lot of it along Herring Run. It is currently blooming. Yellow flowers with 4 sepals (I think!) 8 petals, numerous stamens, and I believe 8 pistils (these were hard to count, even with my hand lens.) Single flower to a stem, with leaves alternate. The leaves are a bit like small ivy leaves. Largest flower I've seen is about an inch across. I think it might be in the buttercup or rose family. I at first thought it was marsh marigold, but the pix I've looked at for that show 5 petals. I'm hoping that because it is so common, someone here might know what it is! Thanks!

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tepelus z6a SW MI

Would it be these?


Here is a link that might be useful: Winter Aconite

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 8:39PM
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mistascott(7A VA)

Did it look like this?

Here is a link that might be useful: Lesser Celandine

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 9:14PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Yellow flowers in wet locations early in the season usually says marsh marigold to me. But if it's not that, can you post a picture? That would help immensely with the ID!


    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 9:11AM
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Thanks everyone! I can't post pix (just got a new digital camera, have yet to learn how to use it!) but with y'all's help I figured out that my mystery flower is, as mistascott suggested, lesser celandine. I was pleased to learn that it is also in the buttercup family, along with the marsh marigold, so I was at least headed in the right direction! Thanks again everyone!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 8:29AM
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mistascott(7A VA)

Glad I could help! I looked up Marsh Marigold in my wildflower ID book (National Audubon Society) and Lesser Celandine was listed as often being confused with it. The ivy-like leaves you described had me convinced it was Lesser Celandine.

Just in case you wanted more info, here is what my book says on Lesser Celandine/Pilewort (Ranunculus ficaria): 5-10" height; glossy heart shaped leaves; Flowers March-May; Flowers 1-1.5" wide; 3-4 sepals; 8-10 petals; many pistils and stamens. Prefers lawns, shaded areas, streamsides, and moist undisturbed places.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 11:32AM
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mistascott(7A VA)

Also, it is NOT native (European origin) and is considered an invasive groundcover in the U.S.

Here is a link that might be useful: More Info

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 11:46AM
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growershower(Z7, MD)

I'm also in Baltimore City. Almost 99% sure you're talking about Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria).
It goes dormant after blooming, but lives as a bubil until the following Spring. VERY invasive in Baltimore City. Can easily choke out natives. It's easily dug up and separates from the soil readily. Roots are very shallow. Spraying poison on it is ineffective.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 5:47PM
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Carrie B

Very hard to eradicate. A definite problem plant here in the mid-atlantic states.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 6:06PM
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