Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)
We have had a couple of Celandines in flower in a sheltered spot in the garden since Christmas but now they are beginning to appear elsewhere in the Dorset countryside. In recent milder winters they have come out gradually from February onwards but this year it seems they are going to explode in to colour together! Soon there will be carpets of them on banks, in woodlands, along hedgerows, on river sides, in fact all over the place.
The bright, cheery faces of the Lesser Celandine glisten in the spring sunlight and are another reminder of the transformation that will occur before our very eyes in the next month or so. Don't you just adore spring?
The Lesser Celandine is a member of the buttercup family, Ranunculacae. There is a Greater Celandine which is not a Ranunculus and looks nothing like the the Lesser! That just goes to show why we use Latin names for precision in identification and not common English country names which can often be very confusing.