Celandine. Chelidonium majus L.

Figure 37.—Celandine (Chelidonium majus)

Other Common Names

Chelidonium, garden celandine, greater celandine, tetterwort, killwart, wart flower, wartweed, wartwort, felonwort, cockfoot, devil's-milk, Jacob's-ladder, swallowwort, wretweed.

Habitat And Range

Celandine is found in rich damp soil along fences and roadsides near towns from Maine to Ontario and southward. It is common from southern Maine to Pennsylvania.


This erect, branched, sparingly hairy herb is from 1 to 2 feet in height, with thin leaves 4 to 8 inches in length, which have a grayish-green appearance and are deeply and variously cleft. The small, sulphur-yellow flowers are produced from April to September, followed by smooth, slender capsules containing numerous seeds. The plant contains an acrid, yellow juice and when bruised has an unpleasant odor.