Photo by Sam LeningerLesser celandine can be more, and not in a good way posted on 03/01/2018
The welcome sight of crocus and daffodils will soon herald
the coming of spring. But lurking in the wings will be the loathsome invaders.
Joining the unsavory species such as policeman’s helmet,
Scotch broom, knotweed, ragwort, hawkweed – all of which have been exposed in
previous issues of The Mountain Times – comes another invasive, the lesser
Don’t be fooled by its pretty presentation. It dresses up in
bright and shiny yellow flowers that hover on 6 to 8-inch stems over a sea of
glossy heart-shaped green leaves.
“Folks are starting to get anxious to start working in their
yards,” said Lisa Kilders, education and outreach program manager for the
Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District. “We think this is a good
time to catch their attention about a particularly aggressive invasive weed.
Lesser celandine can take over not only our yards, but also invades natural
The plant only blooms for a few weeks in late winter or
early spring and then its flowers and leaves quickly wither away, Kilders
added. “During this critical period, it can prevent growth of native and
ornamental plants in gardens and natural areas by shading and secreting
growth-suppressing chemicals into the soil. These adaptations allow it to
out-compete more desirable plants, reducing diversity and aesthetics in your
garden. It does best in damp, disturbed areas, but is competitive in many
Lesser celandine is also toxic to most mammals, including
humans and livestock.
Removing lesser celandine
To get rid of this weed, carefully dig them up and dispose
of them as trash. Be careful to not lose track of its finger-like bulbs that
easily separate and establish new plants. For large infestations, herbicides
with active ingredients of glyphosate and triclopyr are effective when applied
soon after the plant starts flowering. It is critically important to apply
according to the label instructions and to only in allowed settings.
You will also benefit from establishing and promoting
Find additional invasive species information at
By Larry Berteau/MT