How to deal with Lesser Celandine?

Asked April 4, 2017, 1:38 PM EDT

I have several patches of Lesser Celandine that have developed in my yard. I have researched this plant and realize that digging out the plant and digging deep is more successful than any herbicides (which I don't want to use anyway). I have also read that burning the smaller patches is somewhat successful too. When I travel around my community, I see more and more of this plant spreading in my neighbors' and other nearby properties. I live about half a mile from the Patapsco State Park where this plant is carpeting the river valley. With this invasive plant spreading so rapidly, will it be worth the effort to try to keep it out of my property? I almost feel like the digging and burning might be more disruptive and invite additional invasive weeds into my lawn and yard. My general practice is to stay as chemical free as possible and to plant native. What is the best approach with this weed. I feel that as long as it is growing throughout my community, I will not be able to win this fight.

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

As you've seen, Lesser Celandine/Fig Buttercup/Ficaria verna, is an invasive.
You are right to be concerned and we do think you should take action because Lesser celendine is a huge threat to our native spring flowering 'ephemerals' and grows to make a solid green blanket, disallowing the growth of our native groundcover flowers.
Here is a page about it:

There is a slight chance it is Marsh Marigold, which is a native so look at photos of each.

We don't recommend burning as a control, but they can be dug or sprayed- and this is a case where it's warranted- with a non-selective herbicide. The leaves are shiny to stomping on them to open them up or using a sticker/sprayer like Turbo is suggested.