Return to the Native Plants Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Help with identification?

Posted by charmed 7 (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 13, 12 at 12:39

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!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help with identification?

Would it be these?


Here is a link that might be useful: Winter Aconite

RE: Help with identification?

Did it look like this?

Here is a link that might be useful: Lesser Celandine

RE: Help with identification?

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!


RE: Help with identification?

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!

RE: Help with identification?

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.

Also invasive

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

RE: Help with identification?

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.

RE: Help with identification?

  • Posted by carrieb 7 Philadelphia (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 28, 12 at 18:06

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

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Native Plants Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here