Greater Celandine, Chelidonium majus

Chelidonium majus is an herbaceous plant species. This species is the sole plant that makes up the Chelidonium genus. C. majus is a perennial plant, meaning it typically survives longer than 2 years. The species is native to Europe and western Asia and has recently been cultivated in North America. The species may also be referred to as the Greater celandine or Tetterwort.

C. majus stands tall and may grow between 11.8 to 47.2 inches tall with leaves reaching 11.8 inches long. Its leaves have crenate (wavy) edges and they are lobed. The plant produces a latex sap that is yellow or orange in color. C. majus has yellow flowers with two sepals that bloom in late spring or summer. Ants are the plants main method for dispersing seeds.

C. majus can be toxic when improperly handled. The entire plant contains poisonous isoquinoline alkaloids; however, there are therapeutic and medicinal properties.

Image Caption: Greater celandine (Chelidonium majus). Credit: Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen/Wikipedia (public domain)